Category Archives: On display

Don’t miss the ‘hole’ exhibition!

I feel very honoured to be a finalist in the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize, 2018. This is the third time I’ve been selected as a finalist for this prestigious exhibition.

My entry ‘Oxygen Captured’ represents a single oxygen atom. I hope that by representing this atom at a human scale it will highlight the precious qualities oxygen has for our existence. Above is my ‘blueprint’, with additional working notes, that appears on the reverse (back) side of the artwork — it’s not intended to be shown. I’m presenting it here for those who may be interested in my ‘hole’ working method and to illustrate how I paint from both sides of the canvas as one ‘complete’ expression — an aesthetic that I call Quantum Brushstrokes

The front side will go on display, with all the other selected finalists’ works, at the South Australian Museum from June 8 until August 5, 2018. When it’s available, you can see my actual entry piece by clicking the following link: Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize 2018

Here is my ‘full’ Artist Statement:

The complex science surrounding the properties of a particle (ref. Atomic No.8) is fundamental to the formation of the conditions that promoted life on our oxygenated earth.

The constituent parts of an atom – protons, neutrons and electrons are represented by drill holes through a furled canvas (protons, neutrons) and sawn slashes (electrons). When the canvas is re-stretched to 2D form the drill holes and saw cuts create equidistant opposing “marks” within the white surface as in the inner vastness of atomic space.

The wave-like furling of the canvas, and the passage of drill and saw marks through it, when arranged in this fashion result in the kind of symmetry that is reminiscent of atomic structure and dynamic particle relationships that are the basis of all matter.

Malcolm Koch

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Recovering ten years of ‘Membrane Art’.

Thanks to Jacqueline Mitchell from Art Logic, a rental and sales service supporting local South Australian artists, six paintings have come out of hibernations, and are now hanging in unison at BRI Ferrier’s boardroom (SA) for the next four months.

BRI Ferrier is a unique affiliation of expert business recovery, insolvency, forensic accounting and advisory firms. They provide practical, innovative services that help financially distressed businesses to recover or at least minimise the negative impacts of insolvency. They also support South Australian artists, like myself, through a continual program of art rental rotations that span over ten years.

This exhibition represents a variety of styles and approaches, dating back over ten years to when I first started experimenting with creating events on curves — an art practice I call ‘Membrane Art’.  This is my first time exhibiting with BRI Ferrier and I’m happy with the way it has come together.

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Chilled-out at 1414 Degrees.

Thanks to Jacqueline Mitchell at Art Logic , a rental (and sales) service supporting local South Australian artists, this painting (MA#5) is hanging in the Chairman’s office at 1414 Degrees for the next six months.

1414 Degrees’ is a thermal-based energy storage system. What makes it unique is that it is clean, scalable, sustainable and therefore unlike any other energy storage system in the world. This breakthrough technology is set to disrupt energy storage globally because it provides energy in the form most used in the world – heat. So, I’m thrilled that they’ve selected my work. Check out their recent prospectus and website: 1414 Degrees

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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

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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.


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Arakaba Hotel exhibition – Diversity

Opening night: Thursday 31 July 2014, 7–9pm. Wine supplied by Chaffey Bros. Wine Co and Dunes & Greene. Canapes will served on the night.

This is a group exhibition (5 artists). I will have 5 paintings on display. Please RSVP

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RiAus exhibition

Recently, my painting MA#41 was highly commended in this year’s prestigious Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize, an international competition that invites artists to investigate the environment around us and present their own perspective on natural science. It’s an achievement just to be recognised. Likewise, I’m also thrilled to be invited to exhibit in the RiAus FutureSpace Gallery during this year’s SALA festival, where a similar synergy between the arts and science has been occurring. This support of the arts highlights how artists can interpret common themes, issues and thoughts in a multitude of different aesthetic ways that can engage mainstream audiences in science. Hopefully, by humanising scientific pursuits we may together speak a common language for all humanity.


As an artist, I like to say that my art is founded in science. I call my work ‘Membrane Art’ and believe it to be an absolute aesthetic-thought. This is distinct but not separate to the mounted-pieces that are about to go on display in the FutureSpace Gallery, titled Under the Surface. These are the relative-thoughts, the by-products of the absolute-thought which each have their own individual story to tell.

When making a claim that something is ‘absolute’, as is done in science, you need to be able to provide strong, quality evidence to support the theory. For almost 10 years now, since the idea for ‘Membrane Art’ first came to me, I can confidently say that I’ve achieved a body of work and a method of working that can consistently confirm this as so.

It was the 19th-century scientist and philosopher Hermann von Helmholtz who wrote, ‘Everything is an event on the skin’, and these words seems so poignant when you consider the process I employ to produce each piece — quite simply, I undulate the surface before I paint on it, hence the terminology ‘Membrane Art’, as it is the membrane (canvas) that creates the basic structure for the work. Why I paint in this way stems directly from my understanding of nature and the way it appears to be. To understand surface and space, the challenge has always been to imagine the complexities of our world beyond the limits of our visual abilities — you can’t solely rely on the flat 2D surface; it just doesn’t work. So, by questioning the way we see, it became apparent that to understand the presuppositions that shape our world, a new visual language was required.


Undulating the membrane was a liberating thought, and it also allowed me to employ modern thinking in physics and geology for which I have a keen interest. I started by experimenting with various materials and techniques, including sizing my own linen to try to build an innate understanding of it. Since then, I’ve been able to demonstrate that I can repeat the idea of absolute thought, in a variety of ways, and under any conditions and circumstances. And just to prove it, 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 ‘actions’ have turned into 24 cuts. This hints at particle physics, where it’s possible to be in several locations at the same time. Its only when we observe the cuts on the flat 2D 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.


At this point, I must emphasise that undulating the surface is not the complete idea of Membrane Art — the work must eventually return to the flat 2D picture plane, a key part of the absolute-thought. This shows us that the undulating membrane provides a re-enactment of nature (containing multi-dimensional values), and the flat plane generates the human experience (by compressing the depth), a visual metaphor for how we may observe. This is further illustrated in the exhibition by a piece I call ‘undulating-work-in-progress’, and is indicative of how all mounted works are created.

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

I trust you’ll enjoy the exhibition. I’d love to hear your feedback!

All works are for sale. Any enquires call me direct on 0419 864 987

Under the Surface will be exhibited in the Futurespace Gallery at The Science Exchange from Friday 1 August 2014 to Friday 26 September 2014. 

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