Kelly Su

It Comes and Goes

Class of: 2027

Major: Illustration BFA

Medium: Mixed Media: Canvas, Cornstarch, Iodine

Faculty: Tamer Hassan

Prompt: Choose an activity or ritual from your day, or some naturally occurring duration and create a single, twodimensional visualization of your experience of this duration using any media. Consider how the experience of this duration changes, and how you can implement that into your still frame.

From the assignment requirements, I thought of my “daily rituals. While I don’t have many, I do wake up and go to bed thinking of affirmations and words of gratitude, and I wanted to convey how my emotions swell and deflate, come and go. When thinking about the medium for my daily ritual I planned to depict, I knew I wanted a medium that would shift in some sort of way, even when it was a still image, and the chemical reaction between iodine and cornstarch popped into my head. My inspiration for the premise of this project came from a science experiment I performed during middle school. Originally, we used iodine and starchy water for a germ transmission activity, but I found the chemical reaction more fascinating than the activity itself. The premise of the project itself is experimental—in the hands of chemistry, there’s much spontaneity that could make or break the whole project. Using iodine and cornstarch to paint in general was a success in itself, but I hadn’t realized how performative the work truly was until I’d filmed it. Much of this project felt like I wasn’t in control—chemical reactions are fickle, especially when you don’t know every facet of the reaction itself, or the used materials. Even still, this project taught me a lot more about control: even if there are parts of the project out of my hands, I can be creative with what I do have control over, just like how I have control over my emotions and how I apply them to the chaotic, spontaneous world around me.