November 25 - December 23, 2020
Beyond Ourselves | Through Ourselves is an exhibition of new charcoal drawings by one of Akron Soul Train’s spring artists-in-residence, Ryan Craycraft. Ryan proposed to create a body of work that would explore how we experience isolated moments of change, loss and inevitability - which proved quite prophetic!
Ryan is fascinated with a concept called Yügen found in Japanese aesthetics. Yügen is said to mean “a profound, mysterious sense of beauty of the universe...and the sad beauty of human suffering”. At times, Yügen can occur in a breath of a breeze blowing through leaves, and Ryan seeks to capture each elusive moment within his compositions.
In his words, “How can something that is just dust on a 2D surface shift our perspective? To see the moon pass through clouds and disappear, but to know that the
moon is still there in the distance. That its existence is transported from a moment of reality to one of the mind. This transformation is not imagined or fantasy, but one that is embodied through a set of circumstances. The moon in proximity to the body and the act of it leaving our vision. We accept loss and change in our life and in the best moments they allow us to have a sliver of clarity in the dense black. An acute awareness of time passing and our relationship to it. Drawing to me is a black mirror in which we gaze, not to see our own reflection but to see beyond ourselves/ through ourselves.”