22 OCT - 5 NOV 2018

As Artist in Residence at The Lock-Up, Luke Cornish (ELK) will engage directly with The Lock-Up spaces for the installation of his solo exhibition THE SEA, an exhibition that documents the destruction of war-torn Syria, and the everyday lives of people caught in the middle.


22 OCT - 5 NOV 2018

Luke Cornish (aka ELK) is a former blue-collar worker from Canberra. It was through boredom during his mid-twenties that lead him to start experimenting with stanley knives and spray-paint cans. One decade on, Cornish is one of Australia’s most established stencil artists, well-known within the contemporary art landscape. 

Using up to 1000 layers of carefully hand-cut acetate, Cornish sprays layer upon layer of paint until his images obtain the realism of a photograph but resonate with an altogether different veracity. His rise within the contemporary art world has been meteoric, becoming the first artist to be nominated for the Archibald Prize with a portrait created entirely out of stencils. 

Cornish’s accolades are in alignment with the trajectory of his career. He has won many awards including the coveted Holding Redlich People's Choice Award at the Salon des Refusés in 2017, the Churchill fellowship in 2013 and was a finalist in the Sulman prize in the same year. In 2011, he was a finalist in the Metro Art Prize, won the Australian Stencil Art prize in 2012, and in 2008 he won the most popular stencil at Melbourne Stencil Festival. In 2012, Cornish’s short film, ‘Me- We’, which documented the process and construction of his portrait of Father Bob Maguire for entry into the 2012 Archibald Prize, was shortlisted the prestigious Tropfest Film Festival.