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Our Time on Earth (Hardback)

Hobbies & Lifestyle > Photography

Imprint: George F. Thompson
Pages: 152
Illustrations: 83 color photographs
ISBN: 9781938086779
Published: 15th January 2021


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Wide-ranging and operatic in scale and in scope, Our Time on Earth - Tom Young’s fourth book - is an intuitive gaze at the mystery, promise, and condition of human life on Earth in 2020. In an expansive col-lection of eighty-three new photographs, artfully sequenced into thematic parts, Young brings to us a vis-ual narrative that simultaneously hints at the apocalyptic unfolding of contemporary life while offering reverential hope for a better world.


Through a collision of images as minute as a molded snow globe, as expansive as a roiling ocean, and as haunting as steam belching from the tower of a nuclear power plant, Young brings the reader on an epic journey. Here one finds the prayerful silence of a goat at peace in a freshly dug grave, the human tableaux of young people amidst the drenching power of water, and the simple magnificence of moving water frozen into icy stillness. Here as well one finds disturbing aspects of the human mosaic to be found in the common places of everyday life, from a school bus abandoned in a vast mined landscape to a col-lapsing building in the shape of a large cat.


In Tom Young’s universe, juxtaposition tells a story while the precise rendering of a moment in time speaks to the mystery of creation and the devotion of a photographer trying to understand a compli-cated world. As curator Aprile Gallant observes in her insightful essay: “The images build upon the other, veering from macro to micro, from vegetable, animal, and mineral to welded, constructed, and manufac-tured… The aggregate of viewing is an awareness of the deep interconnectedness of humans and their environment, a drama that plays out in equally beneficial and devastating ways.”


Our Time on Earth plays knowingly off the idea that human endeavors on the planet can be as brief as the beat of a hummingbird’s wing and as long-lasting as mercury and lead embedded in a local river or stream. The question thus arises as to how the traces we leave behind from our time on Earth will reverberate as we move forward to the next generation and the next and the next.

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