Psyche Inspired: Jennah Colborn

Institution: California Institute of Technology

Major: Physics

Psyche Inspired Class: 2021-2022

Reflections on Psyche Inspired

Reflections on Project 1: Faces of Psyche

Faces of Psyche

Jennah Colborn

December 3, 2021

Major: Physics

Genre/Medium: Makeup/SFX, Digital Photography

About the work: I was immediately captivated by Psyche’s possible appearance: its asymmetry, metallicity, and texture. My goal was to bring some of these physical features to life through a series of portraits personifying the asteroid. Its characteristics could first be separated into the categories of external (surface) features and internal composition, and from there I selected four traits that I felt best encompassed Psyche’s distinctive feel. Read more…

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Reflections on Project 2: A Child’s Psyche

A Child’s Psyche

Jennah Colborn

January,26 2022

Major: Physics

Genre/Medium: Acrylic Paint, Mixed Materials

About the work: While reflecting on what inspired me about Psyche and NASA’s many other iconic missions, I found my thoughts frequently returning to childhood memories: visiting the local aerospace museum with my dad, looking through telescopes, & watching Star Trek late at night. These activities sparked a natural curiosity in me which, when coupled with a vivid imagination, ignited a lifetime passion for space exploration. I wanted to pay homage to that curious child in this project. I collaborated with a brilliant 8-year old space enthusiast, Zachary Fleck, to visualize what the surface of Psyche might look like from a first-person point of view. I cemented his drawing in the center of my painting to illustrate our central motivation for exploration: learning more about our universe for the simple pursuit of knowledge for knowledge’s sake. I then applied mixed materials of aluminum foil, silver paper, & gemstones in layers across the canvas to illustrate the creativity and abstract thinking that goes into successful space missions. Creating this collage was very fun for me; I purposely used only materials I could find around my house, and tried to create something “imperfect” as I channeled my inner child. I believe that the end piece is playful yet inspiring, and that it reflects the pure heart of the Psyche mission.

Reflections on Project 3: Psyche, Simplified

Psyche, Simplified

Jennah Colborn

April 8, 2022

Major: Physics

Genre/Medium: Digital Illustration

About the work: I wanted to take a step back from some of the more abstract representations of Psyche I’ve done, and return to the fundamental aspects of the asteroid. For this project I digitally illustrated Psyche-16 from different angles and perspectives in space: I created some concrete, simple black-and-white images of the asteroid from varying distances for the foreground, and some more playful ornate line drawings and rocky textures for the background. The background is composed of purple and orange, the designated Psyche mission colors, and are meant to give depth and diversity to the composition of the illustration as a whole. Finally, I incorporated handwritten text at the bottom of the image to frame it by its official name: “PSYCHE-16”.

Reflections on Project 4: A New Psyche

A New Psyche

Jennah Colborn

May 18, 2022

Major: Physics

Genre/Medium: Acrylic paint, yarn, shoes

About the work: For my final piece, I wanted to break out of my comfort zone one last time and experiment with physical artwork, repurposing a pair of thrifted shoes into wearable art inspired by the Psyche mission and team. I felt that I hadn’t yet examined the human spirit of the mission, and this is my attempt to do so by paying homage to one of the most iconic markers of humanity in space exploration: footprints. Our first steps into the cosmos are still imprinted on the Moon’s dusty surface; this imagery led me to think about the relationship between the human body, mobility and exploration. So, I wanted to create some Psyche-inspired footwear. I incorporated elements from my past pieces into this one, playing with asteroidal texture and abstract soulful design to wrap everything up into one piece— and of course, utilizing the Psyche purple and orange!

Psyche Inspired

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Psyche Inspired