Luke Cornish (E.L.K)

Luke Cornish is an Australian artist creating unique, powerful images from handmade stencils. His rise within the contemporary art world has been meteoric, becoming the first artist to be nominated for the Archibald Prize and the Sulman prize with a portrait created entirely out of stencils. A former blue-collar worker from Canberra, Cornish’s apathy and boredom during his mid-twenties encouraged him to start experimenting with stanley knives and spraypaint cans. Nearly ten years later, Cornish has literally carved his name into the public’s mind.


Using up to 85 layers of carefully hand-cut acetate, he sprays layer upon layer of aerosol paint until his images bear a striking photographic resemblance: this is a new form of hyper-realism that is unlike what has been seen before. Formally known as E.L.K, he uses the tools of a street artist to create decadent, detailed works that envelop the viewer. There is an honesty to Cornish’s work, slicing back the layers and reconstructing his muses with astonishing deftness. The emotions that permeate through the eyes of his portraits have great depth, the shadows created by the stencils highlighting their anguish. His subjects all seem to share the same hardship and determination that Cornish himself has experienced, lending to a sense of dire reality in the unreality of his images.


After a few small exhibitions across Australia, Cornish’s abilities began to attract public attention. Over the past five years he has been granted many awards, including being selected as a finalist in the Metro Art Prize of 2011, winning the Australian Stencil Art prize in 2010, the most popular stencil at Melbourne Stencil Festival in 2008, and creating a shortlisted Tropfest film on the making of his Archibald portrait. And finally, the Archibald itself. This represents a shift in the contemporary art world, as Cornish’s controversial nomination has proven that stencilling is a viable fine art form that is now competing with more traditional methods.


He has continued to refine his craft, striving to push the boundaries of his medium and creating picture-perfect stencils. Cornish has nuzzled his way into the fine art world, showing that even if the pen is mightier than the sword, the scalpel might win out overall.

In 2013, he achieved the highest ever auction result in Australia for street art for his Archibald piece of Father Bob at Bonhams.

Biography

Solo Exhibitions

2018

(in)appropriate, Metro Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria

No place like home, Tuggeranong art centre, Canberra

2017

Road to Damascus, Nanda Hobbs, Sydney, New South Wales

Zero to the Left, Metro Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria

2016

Nanda Hobbs, Sydney, New South Wales
Concrete Jungle, Metro Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria


2014

Charlie Foxtrot, Metro Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria


2013

Before Afghanistan, Art Equity, Sydney, New South Wales


2012

Not with it…, Metro Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria


2011

Look what you made me do…., Brunswick Street Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria

This is why we can’t have nice things, Oh Really Gallery, New South Wales


2010

How you like me now Bitch? Front Gallery, Australian CapitalTerritory

 

Group Exhibitions

2020

Rise Exhibition, Carriageworks, Sydney

2019

Primed, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra

2017

For Syrias Children, fundraising exhibition

Sign of the times, Gold Coast Art Gallery, QLD

2016

Stencil, Next Gallery, Paris

2015

Stencil Master, Urban art festival, Amsterdam

Fine lines, Sydney story factory fundraiser, Sydney

Brave new world, nanda/hobbs, Sydney

Bricks to canvas, Aarwun gallery, Canberra

Your Kid Can't Do This, Ambush Gallery, Sydney (curator)

Contents Under Pressure - Stencil Art in Australia

Public, Perth

First Landing to Last Post, Parliament house, Canberra

2003-2010

Burrinja Gallery, Melbourne

 

Awards and Recognition

2017

Salon de Refusés, SH Ervine Gallery, Sydney (Holding Redlich Peoples Choice Award)

2016

Australian War Memorial, Canberra (acquisition)

Calleen art award, Cowra Regional Gallery, Finalist

2015

Brisbane Art Prize, Finalist

Deakin small sculpture prize, Finalist

Moreton Bay Regional Art award, Finalist

Calleen art award, Cowra regional gallery, Finalist

Gold Coast Art Gallery, QLD (acquisition)

2014

Black Swan Prize, Finalist

Bond University Collection, QLD

Corrigan Collection

2013

Churchill Fellowship, Awardee

National Portrait Gallery, Canberra (acquisition)

Sulman prize, Finalist

2012

Moran Portrait prize, semi-finalist

Archibald prize, Finalist

Tropfest, shortlisted

2011

Metro Art Prize, Finalist

2010

Australian Stencil Art Prize, Winner

2009

Ballarat Gallery of Modern Art (acquisition)

Australian Stencil art prize, Runner up

2008

Melbourne Stencil Festival, Peoples choice

Collections

2015

Wonderwalls, Port Adelaide

Project 504, Sydney

2014

Public Street art festival, Perth

RightNow, Liechardt, Sydney

ADIDAS Stan Smith show, Melbourne

2013

Sulman prize, Art Gallery of NSW

2012

A cut above 2, Espionage Gallery, Adelaide

Archibald prize, Art Gallery of NSW

E.L.K x ADNATE "killing it", Molecule gallery,Melbourne

Project 5, Sydney

Melbourne’s burning, Paradise hills, Melbourne

Young guns, Linton and kay, Perth

Climate change, Metro Gallery, Melbourne

2011

Surface Tension, Ambush Gallery, Sydney

All stars show, Espionage gallery, Adelaide

Things to come, Metro Gallery, Melbourne

Facebook portrait show, Dark horse experiment, Melbourne

The new field, Dark horse experiment, Melbourne

Metro art award, exhibition of finalists, Melbourne

A cut above, Espionage gallery, Adelaide

Sidewayz Art Exhibition, Sydney

up close (colour by numbers), Sydney

Expo for Mattia, Naples, Italy

up the bend, Rancho Notorious, Melbourne

Paste up exhibition (ragad art kalliatsis), Hungary

2010

Space Invadas, National Gallery of Australia (merchandise inGiftshop)

Don't push mong, China heights, Surry hills, Sydney

Australian Stencil art Prize, Oh Really gallery, Newtown,Sydney

Don't push mong, Canberra

Pop rocks, Urban Uprising gallery, Sydney

Sweet streets, 1000 pound bend, Melbourne

Friends with knives, crewest gallery, Los Angeles

Urban art 10A, BSG, Melbourne

2009

Old Skoolin, Art whino, Washington/Los Angeles

Get Trucked, per square metre, Melbourne

Melbourne Stencil Festival, Melbourne

YourKidCantDoThis, Sydney Show, North Bondi

Urban Art Agenda #3, Ballarat, Melbourne and BrisbanePowerhouse

September, Dirty Pilot Group show, LA, USA

Spin that thing, vinyl show, Famous when dead Gallery,Melbourne

In2change Exhibition, Belconnen Community Centre

YourKidCantDoThis, Melbourne Show

YourKidCantDoThis' Canberra Show, Legislative assembly

"Stencil" Art Whino Group show, National Harbour,MD, USA

Australian Stencil Art prize, Exhibition of finalists (runner up)

2008

Spray 1387, Tehran, Iran

Melbourne Stencil Festival

Cacophony Group show, Manuka

2007

Cacophony Group show, The Front Gallery

M16 Group show, M16, Canberra

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Ben
Luke Cornish (E.L.K)
A$ 450.00 AUD
LUKE CORNISH (E.L.K), Ben, 2017, Limited edition archival pigment print on paper, 100 x 65 cm (image); 112 x 75 cm (sheet), Edition of 99
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Wake Up
Luke Cornish (E.L.K)
A$ 450.00 AUD
Luke Cornish (E.L.K), Wake Up, 2012, Giclee print on paper, 90 x 62 cm (image); 112 x 77 cm (sheet size), Edition of 50 + 2 A P,
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Sunrise over Aleppo
Luke Cornish (E.L.K)
A$ 500.00 AUD
Luke Cornish (E.L.K), Sunrise over Aleppo, 2017, Giclee print on acid free archivable paper, 52 x 100 cm (image); 70 x 114 cm (sheet), Edition of 25
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Shatila
Luke Cornish (E.L.K)
A$ 500.00 AUD
Luke Cornish (E.L.K), Shatila, 2017, Giclee print on acid free archival paper, 100 x 79 (image); 112 x 90 cm (sheet), Edition of 25
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Riot
Luke Cornish (E.L.K)
A$ 5,000.00 AUD
Luke Cornish (E.L.K), Riot, 2020, Small axe and paint in frame, 42 x 32 cm
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Mindfulness®
Luke Cornish (E.L.K)
A$ 3,000.00 AUD
Luke Cornish (E.L.K), Mindfulness®, 2018, Resin and enamel, 40 x 30 cm
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ISO
Luke Cornish (E.L.K)
A$ 5,000.00 AUD
Luke Cornish (E.L.K), ISO, 2021, Axe and paint in frame, 29 x 94 cm
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ILS #2 (Israel)
Luke Cornish (E.L.K)
A$ 1,200.00 AUD
Luke Cornish (E.L.K), ILS #2 (Israel), 2020, Bank note and paint in frame, 25 x 25 cm
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ILS #1
Luke Cornish (E.L.K)
A$ 1,200.00 AUD
Luke Cornish (E.L.K), ILS #1, 2020, Bank note and paint in frame, 25 x 25 cm
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Icon
Luke Cornish (E.L.K)
A$ 500.00 AUD
Luke Cornish (E.L.K), Icon, 2017, Giclee print on acid free archival paper, 100 x 76 cm (image); 112 x 84 cm (sheet), Edition of 25
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Human Grocery Store
Luke Cornish (E.L.K)
A$ 15,000.00 AUD
Luke Cornish (E.L.K), Human Grocery Store, 2018, Aerosol on canvas, 92 x 122 cm
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Father Bob
Luke Cornish (E.L.K)
A$ 450.00 AUD
Luke Cornish (E.L.K), Father Bob, 2012, Giclee print, 85 x 70 cm (image); 102 x 82 cm (sheet), Edition of 50
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Dora In Aleppo
Luke Cornish (E.L.K)
A$ 500.00 AUD
Luke Cornish (E.L.K), Dora In Aleppo, 2017, Limited Edition giclee print on acid free archival paper, 67 x 100 cm (image); 90 x 112 cm (sheet), Edition of 25
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Dora En Aleppo
Luke Cornish (E.L.K)
A$ 500.00 AUD
Luke Cornish (E.L.K), Dora En Aleppo, 2017, Limited edition giclee print on acid free archival paper, 67 x 100 cm (image); 84 x 112 cm (sheet) Edition of 25
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BLM LDN
Luke Cornish (E.L.K)
A$ 9,000.00 AUD
Luke Cornish (E.L.K), BLM LDN, 2020, Sword and paint in enclosed glass frame, 29 x 94 cm
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