The Visitor

A4, digital, 2010

A city spreads before us, but the alien colour of the sky tells us that this is not on Earth.  The buildings appear to stand in turbulent water, so we may be seeing a city on the sea – perhaps this is an ocean world where land space is limited or non-existent, and this is the only way habitation is possible.

The city is inhabited – there are lights on in the buildings – but only one figure stands on the elevated road stretching into the distance.  This solitary person may have been delivered by the aircraft that streaks towards the horizon, but the figure stands still – there is no urgency to do anything.  What is the purpose of this visit – is there some mystery about the city or its inhabitants to investigate?

Or perhaps we’ve got it wrong – it’s the aircraft that is the visitor and a solitary inhabitant looks up at it, wondering what it portends.  Has someone come at last to provide help to a long-neglected community in this remote location?  Or does the figure gaze in impotent rage at a sight which means that a treasured peaceful existence is about to be disturbed by unwelcome visitors from the skies?

Text: Richard Hayes