Until October 24, 1946 humankind had no true vision of what the space beyond our atmosphere looked like. The first photograph of space was taken by a 35mm camera attached to a V-2 missile launched from the New Mexico desert. This first image read like a sonogram — grains of black and white, the rim of Earth, its surface rendered in dim clusters of speck and gray. With a patient eye the continents appeared. The clouds above the land.
Space exists as a reality and an idea — we can now see the expanse of planets with some clarity, yet questions and assumptions still remain. In his series ‘Other Seas / Other Suns,’ Irish illustrator Matt Griffin gives us an expressionist’s take on the vast unknown. Griffin pulls his illustrations from the supposed beyond, not the NASA-grade images that can measure distance and time.
The series of illustrations act as visuals for unwritten science-fiction. Griffin veers away from potential horror, opting to look for a strange yet organic other-world, one both vibrant and calm. His illustrations imply more than they make exact. Griffin’s take on space is connected back to that first image of Earth — it’s familiar yet alien, an intimate look at something that exists on a grand scale, placed on a canvas as an embryo, still growing, forming and with enough patience, you can see the end of the universe.