To for me growing up in a small town was comforting and yet claustrophobic. I have recently developed this fear of being stuck some place, as now I am out on my own. In going home recently I found that many of my family members' lifestyles and situations are probably the greatest realization of these fears. I yearn to find conformability and stability in my life but somewhere next to comfort is settling down.
I grew up in Central/Rural Arkansas and for me ending up there for a lifetime is frightening. In order to illustrate a sense of claustrophobia and oppression (hell) I could use images of objects/landcapes/figures that remind me of po-dunk places such as old broken down pickups, dated signage, unkept lawns, suvs, high school football fields, two story houses, people with no job advancement possibilities, camouflage, baptist church fronts, etcetera. Using tonal processing and color balance, and obvious collage techniques I could create a sense of a cold and oppressive (tense) environment, as well as a similar psychological experience.
For my heaven, I see experimentalism, freedom, diverse cultures and ethnicities, travel, chicness, intellectualism, growth, city and coastal life. In order to create this visually I will most likely have a less constricted and compressed space using less imagery, and warmer tones and color. I could include images of books, technology, the sky, the sea, warm city lights, and apartment buildings. I don't want this image to feel at all cold or pretentious only full of possibilities and movement (evolution).
My heaven: movement; my hell: motionless. I want to avoid creating a sense of either/or, or that one lifestyle is better than another, only to express a sense of being stagnant and evolving.