Digital, 2016

Caves are places of mystery. We see them all over our planet, with rock formations that show patterns of erosion due to many factors – often the flow of water, sometimes glaciation, occasionally the continual passage of airflow. Earthquakes may shatter rocks and leave them scattered across the surface.

But there is something unusual about this cavern, and we know that it is not on our Earth. The striations in the surfaces seem haphazard, with no clear pattern – they have been produced by an unknown force which does not appear to resemble any of the natural processes we know. There is a smoothness in the walls and floor that is abnormal, and could almost be artificial.

Two figures – clearly astronauts because of the spacesuits they wear – are exploring this realm. The brightness of the scene and the shaft of sunlight indicate that they are still near the entrance to the cave, so they may just be setting out on their investigation of this peculiar world, perhaps with little idea of what they may face in its depths. They may soon encounter whatever – or whoever – created this strange environment.

Text: Richard Hayes