DUALITY – an artistic exploration of quantum science

EQUS’ second art exhibition, DUALITY, was even bigger and better than its first!

DUALITY—an artistic exploration of quantum science—opened on Thursday 16 May 2024 at Flow Studios, Camperdown.  The opening night event was a sell-out, with attendees including many of the artists, competition judge Todd Robinson and other VIPs.

Ben McAllister, EQUS Public Engagement Committee Co-Chair and Associate Investigator, introduced the event with a characteristically engaging overview of the competition that led to the exhibition, and of quantum science and duality.  It was wonderful to then hear from competition winner Natasha Johns-Messenger about her work, Youturn, and the inspiration behind it.

Doubling as a fundraiser for DeadlyScience, the opening night and lead-up public lecture (The Beholder’s Quantum Share, by EQUS Associate Investigator Chris Ferrie) together raised $444.24.

DUALITY included 39 of the entries to the 2023 EQUS Quantum Art Competition, all created under the theme of ‘duality’, including the winners, finalists and highly commended works.  It was a enjoyable challenge to curate the highly diverse works, which included 5 sculptural works, 8 audio visual pieces, a VR entry, 12 original paintings or drawings, and 13 prints.

The exhibition attracted a steady stream of visitors over its five-day run, 16–20 May.  We held two art workshops for kids and families on the weekend days, led by PhD student Tim Hirsch.  The badge-maker was a hit as usual, and the Chladni plate was a huge draw for kids and physicists alike.  Kids were also able to create their own quantum art, using activity sheets created by Tim on Schrödinger’s cat, dilution fridges, optics and more!

Voting for the People’s Choice Prize was open through the exhibition; congratulations go to Antimony Machine Gun, by Gözde Üstün.

EQUS has acquired the winning and runner-up artworks: Youturn, by Natasha Johns-Messenger, and Celestial Realm, by Minghua (Henry) Xiang.  These artworks, along with the winner and runner-up from the 2022 EQUS Quantum Art Competition, will be on display at the Sydney Nanoscience Hub as a legacy of EQUS.

Thanks to all the EQUS members who helped make the exhibition the huge success that it was: Ben McAllister, John Bartholomew, Cyril Laplane, Tim Hirsch, Sarah Allen, Dinethri Aluwihare, Alice Jeffery, Elisabeth Wagner, Ben Field, Rebecca Radebold, Gargi Tyagi, Kerstin Beer, Maverick Millican and Yuktee Gupta.

To find out more about the exhibiting artists and their works, visit https://equs.org/duality-explore-art.


Exhibition booklets (left); exhibition organisers Ben McAllister and Kristen Harley with EQUS alumnus Anthony O’Rourke (right)


Winning artist Natasha Johns-Messenger speaking to attendees at opening night


EQUS Associate Investigator Lachlan Rogers and his wife, Clancy, admiring the runner-up artwork, Celestial Realm, by Minghua (Henry) Xiang (left); Professor Andrea Morello admiring the work, Antimony Machine Gun, of his PhD student Gözde Üstün, who won the People’s Choice Prize (right)


Attendees at opening night (left); Associate Professor Alice Motion speaking to competition judge Dr Todd Robinson (right)


EQUS PhD student Vassili Matsos and his partner Kenisha, EQUS Research Fellow Kerstin Beer and EQUS PhD student Maverick Millican (left); Ben McAllister showing artist Danyal de Gruchy how to experience the VR artwork by Rachael Hegh (right)

Major funding support

Australian Research Council

The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQUS) acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present.