Hibernus III

42 x 23.5cm, digital, 2011

Heavily eroded rocks are coated with ice and snow, and icicles hang down from overhangs in this grim scene of an alien world.  A frozen level surface in the foreground tells us that liquid water can exist here, but there is no sign of life in any form.  A small cave in the escarpment opposite offers hope that something might be sheltering there against these fierce conditions, but we see nothing to confirm it.

Icy winds have caused heavy erosion over the years, and the bleakness of the environment leaves a sense of desolation stretching away to the distant mountains.  But a bright sunrise reveals the beauties of this planet’s surface, illuminating the rocky terrain and causing mist to rise from snowfields far away, and the same sun shines also on the two crescent moons that hang in the sky.  We can appreciate that even a landscape devoid of living things can evoke a sense of the glories of the universe, and the wonder of what may await humanity in the depths of space.

Text: Richard Hayes