Category Archives: Exhibition

Malcolm Koch exhibition, work on display, Membrane Art exhibition, Malcolm Koch art

Quarks up and quarks down

Quantum brushstrokes exhibition
24 March — 23 April 2017

Tony Bond’s Gallery Space Upstairs
Edinburgh Castle Hotel
233 Currie Street, Adelaide
Mon-Fri 11am – 6pm
Sat 12pm – 6pm, Sun 1pm – 6pm

Artist talk times: Sunday 9, Sunday 23 at 4pm. Call Malcolm to confirm: 0419 864 987

Holes (particles) created from curves

It is the curved nature of the membrane 
that creates the structural interpretations — and when the work is presented in a flattened 2D form for observation — the trajectory path appears to be different.

Curled phase
The trajectory path (broken line) of the drill hole follows a short and straight path in complete space (unseen).


Flattened phase
When the curl is unravelled, the trajectory path (broken line) remains the same as it was above. Yet the path seems longer, goes back in time and appears networked differently when we observe it from this (human) viewpoint.



‘I’m inclined to think that…the 3D world is an illusion. The ultimate precise reality is the 2D reality on the surface of the universe’, Leonard Susskin*

*Source: What is space? 48:30s, 2015
Note 1: The holes (3 white marks on the membrane surface) should be viewed as the vectors created within the field. They aren’t necessarily the particles themselves but the negative space that’s require for them to exist on the 2D surface.
Note 2: A second phase dimension has been neglected from these diagrams.

Working notes of ‘Lithium mesh’ (Spatial Lithium)

Lithium-mesh_notes-on-back_Malcolm Koch

The photograph above is of my working notes which appears on the reverse side of my ‘Highly Commended’ art piece, Lithium mesh. Although you will not see this side of it on display at the prestigious Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize 2016 exhibition – it shows my thoughts and the science of my working method. For more information about the science behind it, see the following blog (Proton brushstrokes) or download the PDF file Quantum brushstrokes

To see the finished mounted work, visit the South Australian Museum from 10 June until 31 July 2016. Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize_Gallery


Artist statement of work: Lithium mesh
Quarks & leptons are the building blocks of matter — I’ve created a series of events, using curls & waves, that interpret a geometric construct of a particle’s properties. The curved structures create a framework that allows for connections and entangled systems to manifest. Finally the surface is flattened to 2D-form for observation. The viewer experiences the unravelled results — challenging perceptions that things are often not what they appear to be — a tangible expression of how nature at the very small scale may be formed, by complicated structures and events that are concealed from us.

Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize – finalist and highly commended


Lithium mesh (detail): A series of quantum brushstrokes.

For the second time running, I’m a finalist in the prestigious Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize 2016. Prize winners will be announced at the South Australian Museum at 10:30am on Thursday 9 June 2016. Whatever happens, I’m thrilled to be part of the exhibition to be held at the South Australian Museum from 10 June – 31 July 2016. For more info:

More about Quantum brushstrokes

Carbon 12 is favourable for entanglement


It seems to me that the efficiency of creating this diptych (Carbon 12) is a clue as to why life forms are favoured towards a carbon-based structure. This painting was completed with only 6 drill holes and 3 saw cuts as one entangled expression, yet we can observe — a sea of 72 quarks (holes) and a cloud of 39 electrons (cuts).

About the painting: Created as a series of quantum brushstrokes, it interprets the geometric construct of the respective particles properties, ie, protons, neutrons, electrons. The various curved structures create a framework that allows for connections and entangled systems to manifest. Finally the surface is flattened to the 2D-form for observation. The viewer experiences the unconcealed and simplified results rather than an accrual of the method used – a possible model of how the natural world is formed, even at a tiny scale, by complicated structures and events.

For more see Carbon 12 (network) in the flesh at my latest exhibition:
Visual entanglement
FutureSpace Gallery
RiAus, 55 Exchange Place
Adelaide SA 5000
10am to 5pm, Monday to Friday
on until 3 June 2016

More information about the work: Quantum brushstrokes

Quantum brushstrokes are real

This is an attempt to express a classical interpretation of how fundamental particles may have evolved. Also it tries to address some of the principle questions about why certain particles and initial conditions have been favourable for life to evolve while others have not.

I must emphasise that this aesthetic interpretation has not been tested or verified in any way, shape or form (it’s a ‘fruitloopery’ interpretation from a fringe dweller). Nevertheless it is an invitation to think about what fundamentally cannot be actually directly observed – a quantum particle (not yet anyhow). Therefore the aim is to provide a platform for a visual dialogue that postulates current particle physicists theories, so that we may then have a tactile understanding of their thinking and subsequent discoveries. Afterall, developing bite-size visual queues is a particularly humanistic quality beneficial for understanding our world and each other. Without that, the practical implications may not be as readily realised.

At the same time, this is an extension into the art practice I call, Membrane Art — that is, how geometric curves provide the framework for events to manifest and evolve, yet the flat picture plan is an agent of how we observe them — necessary to help us analyse and contemplate what has happened.

I trust that with further understandings this aesthetic practice will evolve and be further enhanced in time.

_ _

Building brushstrokes (Quantum brushstrokes)

The building blocks of matter are made up of two kinds of brushstroke expressions:

  • Quark brushstrokes
: Quarks are represented by drill holes created on a particular kind of curl (strong interactions) — a quark is a tiny particle which makes up protons and neutrons.


  • Electron brushstrokes: Electrons (leptons) are represented by saw cuts created on a wavy surface (electromagnetic interactions).


Whichever brushstroke expression is used the similarities to the way a brushstroke mark is made on a flat plane remains the same — there is initial contact, movement across and then an exit off the surface.

Note: The saw cuts and drill holes are vector spaces left behind within the field and not the particles themselves. That eventuates as a consequence of it.

Quark brushstroke


Favourable curled structures
The curled membrane represents the geometry of the strong field needed to create the particles that interact with it. The drill holes produced on this curvature structure is similar to the way a brushstroke mark is made on a flat plane – there is initial contact, movement across and then an exit off the surface.

Strong interactions
1: This side view of a curled membrane represents how strong interactions are created. One drill hole can express a multiple flavours of quarks. When entry occurs at the point where two convex surfaces are close together and the exited point is a concave structure – a proton is created (two up / one down).
2: If the curl is spun 180° (half spin) then a different set of events occur. When entry occurs at one convex structure and the exit point is at two concave structures that are close together – a neutron is created (two down / one up).
3: Flat view: The aesthetic is realised when the membrane is opened out and the depth is compressed. Nothing disappears, it just changes form. This generates the human visual experience, a metaphor for how we perceive.

Working hypothesis
Quarks eventuate out of the six different spacial geometries as shown above (3 proton-style quarks, 3 neutron-style quarks). In practice, however, vector fields that holds the quarks are often malformed at the time of creation. It doesn’t matter that the same drill-bit size was used to cut through all the various curvature constructs, you can expect variations to size to occur. Whether or not this is due to the condition of the tool used, extra debris or other surface conditions allows for a multitude of variations to manifest. Nature is fickle, so if quarks are created in this way then you can expect that given time (billions of years or so) decay or other high entropy processes may then ‘clean up’ the vector spaces to allow for a more full-bodied quark type to evolve and become favourable for atom formation.

Electron brushstroke


Favourable wave structures
The wave membrane represents the geometry of the electromagnetic field needed to create the particles that interact with it. The saw cuts on this curvature structure is similar to the way a brushstroke mark is made on a flat plane – there is initial contact, movement across and then an exit off the surface.

Electro/magnetic interactions
1: This side view of a wave membrane represents the electromagnetic field. The geometric relationship creates ‘hidden’ structures for the work.
2: This shows how one expression (a cut made by the circular saw) can appear to be in two places at the same time.
3: Flat view: The aesthetic is realised when the depth is compressed. Nothing disappears – it just changes form. This generates the human visual experience, a metaphor for how we perceive.

Working hypothesis
The saw cuts and drill holes are vectors created within the field and don’t necessarily represent the particles themselves. Smaller sedimentary-style matter (strings) may fill the void left behind to create the so-called elementary particle. In practice, for entangled (networks) to occur, electron brushstrokes by default might contain more parts or substructures then the ones we know. For example, the bottom fold which contains no cut, is still a part of the overall structure. It creates the visual connection (distance) between two saw cut expressions when we observe them on the flat plane.

I have not considered the scale differences between leptons and quarks in the development of this work. Curled structures might have eventuated before wave structures. They may simply be a by-product of curled up ones.

Creating atoms (protons, neutrons, electrons)
with second phase dimensions


Favourable particles
We can now use both drill holes and saw cuts to create vectors and other interactions on the surface of the membranes. To create entangled (networks) a second phase dimension is hidden within the geometry of the curvature constructs at the time of creation. In practice, this second phase dimension must be large enough so that it can be held in place by the outer dimension at the time of creation — too small, it misses, rolls around inside and remains unconnected.

1: This electron was created with additional hidden structures (phase dimension) to express a ‘cloud of electrons’ that are entangled as one expression as seen on the opened out perspective.
2: Multiple quarks can be created with additional hidden structures (phase dimension) to express a ‘sea of quarks’ that are entangled (networked) as one expression as shown on the opened out perspective.
3: Flat viewpoint – all sorts of expressive combinations can be created with quantum brushstrokes that relate to fundamental particle formations. Yet the flat picture plane is necessary to help us analyse and contemplate what has happened.

Working hypothesis
If the same size drill-bit and saw blade is used to cut through all phase dimensions then it could be that the hidden dimensions is as large (possibly tighter and more fragile) then the dimensions we know. For entanglement to occur, particles by default must clump together to form stable groups. So when smaller sedimentary-style matter (strings) fill the space left behind they may entangle with all phase dimensions as one expression.

For more see:
Visual entanglement
FutureSpace Gallery
RiAus, 55 Exchange Place
Adelaide SA 5000
10am to 5pm, Monday to Friday
on until 3 June 2016

Visual entanglement

This exhibition is an expression of my understanding of quantum physics. I’m attempting to communicate how fundamental particles may have evolved. Quarks & leptons are the building blocks of matter – I’ve created curls & waves that relate to the physical properties found in these particles. The curved structures also create a framework that allows for connections and entangled systems to manifest and evolve that couldn’t happen any other way.

Starts: Monday, 22 March  — 3 June 2016
Opening night: 23 March 6—7pm
RiAus FutureSpace Gallery
55 Exchange Place, Adelaide South Australia
Open: Monday — Friday, 9-5pm

MOU signed with RiAus

I’ve just signed a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with RiAus (Royal Institution of Australia Inc) for a solo exhibition called Visual Entanglement. This exhibition will be held at the Science Exchange in the FutureSpace Gallery from Monday 21 March to Friday 3 June 2016 (10 weeks).

Recently, many scientific discoveries have been shaping and redefining our understanding of the laws of nature. So, the objective of this exhibition is to make the science of this (quantum mechanics in particular) seem more approachable to everyone. By putting the ‘observer’ (the human aesthetic values) into the framework, I’ll be able to develop a narrative through a series of visual expressions that cannot be described independently, ie, they’ll be entangled.

As science and aesthetics is an integral part of the ethos of MembraneArt, more than any other exhibition I’ve done before, I’m looking forward to working with RiAus to present and fulfil this objective in a meaningful way.

Being in two places at the same time.

In the example below, three cuts were made to an undulated membrane surface. This was then stretched and mounted to the two dimensional picture plane. So the top three expressions (cuts) were created at the same time as the bottom three. This illustrates how expressions can be in two places at once. A further explanation is given below.

Malcolm Koch_MA#50_diptych_IMG_1260
MA#50 (diptych) at my Energy Travels exhibition: Angas Travel, The Parks 10/154 Fullarton Road, Rose Park, South Australia. Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, until the end of January 2016.

Membrane Art: An aesthetic thought:


1) Side view of an undulated membrane; The geometry of the membrane creates a ‘hidden’ construct for the development of the work.

2) Top angle view: From this view we can start to see how one expression (in this instance, a cut made by a circular saw) has appeared in two places at the same time.

3) The stretched out view: The aesthetic is realised when the depth is compressed (membrane stretched). Nothing disappears … it just changes form from an undulation to a flatter state. This generates the human visual experience, a metaphor for how we perceive.

Note: Undulations can take any form. They could be fixed or unfixed, angled or straight, shallow or deep, loose or tight, crumpled or smooth. Whatever the undulations, it controls the process of paint flow, cuts and scrapes.

Reinventing the grid

MA#49_Malcolm Koch_s

The grid is defined by the geometric form of the membrane at the time paint was poured over the surface. So when we observe the image on the flat 2-dimensional picture plane it appears distorted. Interesting how the low lying parts of the folds have defined the grid edges. This is unseen until it is fully stretched and mounted. For a full explanation see About Membrane Art in the menu.

See MA#49 in the fresh at the Energy Travels exhibition – Angas Travel for the SALA Festival 2015. On until 31 August, 2015.

Brick+Mortar exhibition

A sneak preview of my latest exhibition: On until July 26, 2015. Pop in for a coffee and browse. Brick + Mortar, 49 George Street, Norwood (next to the Norwood Town Hall).

Brick+Mortar exhibition_IMG_1055

Left: New work MA#49. Right: A work in progress, illustrates how the membrane creates the basic structure before it is flattened onto a two dimensional picture plane.

Brick+Mortar exhibition_IMG_1061

From left to right: MA#45, MA#48, MA#11.


The entanglement series

I’ve recently been attempting to paint the physical phenomenon that is quantum entanglement. I’m trying to achieve this by showing that marks (particles) produced on a ‘membrane’ surface can be in multi-places at the same time. I’m doing this by first folding or undulating the surface in such a way so that I can apply one action to create many marks at once. When they dry, I’ll be opening the membrane up and stretching it to a frame as part of my study into whether I’ll encounter any technical issues.

My aim is to hint at how the science may be understood. Furthermore, by recreating the mechanics at a macro level, it could help to illustrate how things might become entangled in the quantum mechanical system. Because the results are static and displayed retrospectively, it could help our understanding of the theory, including the EPR paradox.

Exhibition(s) to come in due course.

Undulation_IMGP0026_entanglement Undulation_IMGP0027_entanglement


Note: It’s a condition of all my work that I’m partly or completely unsighted to the events created. So we shouldn’t pass judgement on the merits of these ‘works-in-progress’ until they’ve been cropped and fully stretched  — in a restful state for observation.

‘Under the Surface’ exhibition

Stories Well Told recently interviewed Malcolm about the RiAus exhibition, Under the Surface.


Stories Well Told (SWT)

Malcolm, a finalist in the prestigious Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize for 2014, has always been interested in science and the internal workings of nature.

In Membrane Art his canvas becomes a metaphor, recreating layered, multifaceted organisms.

His artistic process ends with recreating the way human visualise science.

SWT: How do you examine what’s ‘Under the Surface’?

Malcolm: My objective is to investigate nature. To understand surface and space the challenge has always been to imagine the complexities of our world beyond the limits of our visual abilities. So, by questioning the way we observe, it became apparent to me that a fresh approach was needed to the way we paint. In particular, to decipher the physiology of our world in a way that relates to the multi-dimensional aspects of it. There are more dimensions than the ones that we can obviously see like height, width and depth.

SWT: What fresh approach to painting did you come up with for Membrane Art?

Malcolm: One way to achieve this was to paint on an uneven or undulating surface. This canvas provides a re-enactment of nature and its multi-dimensional values. And then, at a later date, the canvas is flattened, becoming two-dimensional. The human experience is demonstrated by compressing the depth, creating a visual metaphor for how we observe.


SWT: So are you comparing complex science to human observation?

Malcolm: I’m not comparing them, I’m acknowledging them as one and the same. What I’d like people to see is that when a scientist theorises that we live in a multi-verse, it’s not because they’re conveniently trying to hide extra dimensions to make their calculations work, it’s usually because they make their observations facilitated by tools. Through these tools they can make more observations, more precisely than those our basic senses are equipped to handle.

SWT: Are you following this same scientific method in making your art?

Malcolm: Actually, in my art I often undulate the surface so tightly together that I can’t see where and how paint might flow or blend together, so I’ll rely on my other senses of feel and experience to calculate desired events. This is the unseen physiology. Then opening the work and making it as flat as possible shows that the events that occurred when it was in an undulating state haven’t disappeared, it’s just changed form on the surface.

SWT: Where is Membrane Art heading in the future?

Malcolm: I’ve created a new work exclusive to this exhibition, titled MA#47. Rather than just using paint, I’ve taken a circular-saw and made 12 individual cuts on the undulating linen. In this instance I used two undulations, so 12 cuts across the canvas have turned into 24 cuts when flattened. This hints at particle physics, where it’s possible to be in multiple locations at the same time. Its only when we observe the cuts on the flat two-dimensional surface do we realise that there’s a relationship between two particular cuts that couldn’t have possibly have occurred unless the surface was in a different state.

The RiAus exhibition ‘Under the Surface’ is on until 26 September 2014.



SALA exhibition at RiAus

Malcolm Koch presents 8 Membrane Art paintings (4 new works) and a not to be missed work-in-progress. Plus Christopher and Therese Williams present a collaborative sound and video work, combining Christopher’s soundscape composition with Therese’s real-time video drawings. 1 August – 26 September 2014 Under the surface The Royal Institution of Australia (RiAus) The Science Exchange: 55 Exchange Place
, Adelaide SA Open: Monday–Friday 10am–5pm RiAus FutureSpace-Gallery

RiAus exhibit_2014_IMGP0021_3

Highly commended at Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize

I’m very happy to announce that I was Highly Commended for work MA#41 at this year’s Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize. With the high quality of work on display, this is a very satisfying achievement. It does mean that my work will form part of a tour to the National Archives of Australia in Canberra later in the year.

The exhibition opens this weekend at the SA Museum:

Manifesto (Opening speech)

Transcript of my speech made to 70+ guests at the opening cocktail party of Membrane Art exhibition at the Adelaide Convention Centre (Centre ArtBeat) on 4 June 2014:
_ _

So, what preoccupies the perennially tormented mind of the contemporary artist? Quite simply; the language of aesthetic-ideas (aesthetic-thoughts).

But what I want to talk to you about tonight — is how this visual language can be delineated into two parts — absolute and relative ideas. Absolute being what is complete, and relative being something that is dependent upon humans. I particularly want to make this distinction as it relates directly to my art. Art always needs to steer itself away from becoming monotonous, so by defining the merits of ideas itself — or at least by bringing it to your attention — I believe robust, imaginative and independent forms of inquiry may continue to exist. As it is only through the development of absolute-ideas that art has a future that may authentically explore the issues to be debated, the ideas to be contested, and the images yet to be re-imagined.

The mounted works you see on display, are my relative-ideas. Each one has an individual story to tell. The undulating-works-in-progress you see here (below), represent the absolute-idea and is indicative of how every one of my paintings is created. But before I explain this, let me first define, these terms.


RELATIVE: They are relative because they stand in relation to certain conditions or circumstances. They relate to individual human beings. This is what artists execute 99.9% of the time. Pick a topic: Politics; environment; social; religion; sex; make a comment or highlight an issue about it, and hey presto! — you have an exhibition that everyone can relate to.

ABSOLUTE: Absolute-ideas, on the other hand, do not stand in relation to any conditions or circumstances. They prevail at any time or place and under any circumstances. It is a first order thought and can’t be denied or refuted. For example, the idea of Cubism is absolute — show multiple viewpoints on the picture plane. This is a truth that has stood the test of time. So much so, that Cubism has influenced generations of artist, creating a multitude of outcomes with this basic principle.

The objective of absolute-ideas is to provide the artist with a common philosophy or goal, so that he or she, or a collective group, can bring about a sense of purpose and direction. Whatever the means, you either — respond with it, or react against it.


So what makes these undulating membranes absolute?

10 years ago, almost to the month, it hit me. If I could just undulate the surface before I painted on it, I might be able to capture the pervasive features that shape our natural landscape  then at a later date, compress the depth by returning the work to the flat picture plane.

This was a liberating thought, and it quickly became obvious that it was a much larger idea then just about landscape, it was science. However, with no obvious historical art references to show me the way, I continued experimenting on my own, trying various materials and techniques, including sizing my own linen, as well as trying to overcome technical issues. But most importantly, I needed to be able to repeat the idea, in a variety of ways, in order to build a body-of-work that could confirm my assertion  Membrane Art holds the principle view: that the confluence of events in nature and human observation occur as one and the same. DISCUSS: [The undulating membrane is nature. The flat-plane is observation. The membrane creates the basic structure for the work. Through the act of compressing the depth, after applying a series of multiple dimensional values, you begin to reveal a truth about the human experience of observation. Nothing disappears! It just changes its form on the surface].

10 years on, Membrane Art prevails as an absolute aesthetic-idea. It can’t be mistaken as a technique or process, as it is about understanding space and surface in order to build the relative-ideas. It shows us that we are blind to the internal workings of nature. I hope that by displaying these undulating-works-in-progress — and explaining the methodology behind my thinking — you can see much more work can be achieved which has not consciously been recognised anywhere. More importantly, I hope that other artists embrace or challenge the idea, as it is often through the collective group that good ideas gain momentum and flourish for the benefit of all.

Absolute aesthetic-ideas don’t come around very often and given recent scientific discoveries about the laws of nature (like the Higgs Field), Membrane Art could well be the contemporary visual language for our times.

Hughes Gallery

The Hughes Gallery is displaying one of my pieces. I haven’t seen this work for six months and looking at it again on display I still believe its one of my finest. The Hughes Gallery: Fullarton Park Centre, 411 Fullarton Road. 20 March – 17 April 2014. Mon-Fri.

Adelaide Convention Centre

Slight change of dates: The Adelaide Convention Centre (Centre ArtBeat) will be displaying my artwork for approximately 8 weeks. The official opening and cocktail party has changed to Wednesday 4 June, 5 – 6.30pm. Dandelion Vineyards will be supporting the opening. Yummmmm!

The Veda experience

5 of my large oil paintings have made their way to Veda – Art & Interiors: This is the collaboration between Tony Bond (AP Bond Art Gallery), Paul Swain, Paul Gerard, Zoe Elvish and Jacqui Hooper. Its a great idea – check it out at 140 Barton Terrace West, North Adelaide 11 – 4pm most days.