Tag Archives: Archibald prize

Luke Cornish – A Traveller in Wartime

Prize-winning Australian stencil artist Luke Cornish, aka E.L.K recently showed his exhibition of Syrian-inspired artworks, ‘Road to Damascus’ at Sydney art gallery Nanda/Hobbs Contemporary. For over a decade, Cornish has created artwork in the public eye that forces the viewer to reflect on their thoughts and actions and the impact their lives have on others.

Turning over the soil on perceptions of race, religion, conflict and the human condition, Cornish echoes the sentiments of American singer Bruce Springsteen, considering it his job as an artist to ‘observe and report’.

aleppo 7

Cornish extends his social commentary across borders and boundaries, with his work often taking him to the worlds most troubled and troubling places. In June 2016, Cornish traveled through Syria with Sydney’s Anglican Church Reverend Dave Smith, on his ‘Boxers for Peace’ mission. The life-changing journey brought him insights into the lives and stories of the people he encountered.

Despite the poverty and plight of the war-ravaged civilization, Cornish was able to experience first-hand the hope, generosity and defiant positivity of the people of Syria. Taking these reflections back and pouring them into his work, Cornish was then invited to return to Syria to exhibit the show at the Damascus Opera House.

fanning out, allepo

Set on returning to the country, Cornish set about collecting donations for art supplies in Australia for his work with the children of Syria, but in doing so, found he encountered issues with PayPal obstructing any contributions with the label ‘Syria’ or ‘Syrian’ attached. His visit to the area wasn’t without incident either, as he found himself arrested in the wrong area at gunpoint, without the correct papers for his visit. However, the experience has left him un-jaded as to the warmth and humanity of the ordinary people he met along the way.

Continue Reading →

Rockin’ Out with 23rd Key

Melbourne based artist 23rd Key has just submitted two mind-blowing stencils into Australia’s ‘Archibald Prize‘.  She took time to chat with Damo about how this all came about.

DW:  Thanks for taking the time to chat.  Can you tell us a bit about yourself, what led you to becoming a stencil artist?

23rd Key: No worries. I actually kind of fell into it- I made my first stencil when I was in high school. Being from Melbourne, stencil art was still emerging at the time, my brother knew some of the basics and taught them to me. I happened to really take to the medium though, I found the process of cutting/making stencils really cathartic and have been doing it ever since- I enjoy doing it now more than I ever have. I got to a stage where I’d made so many artworks that I decided I needed to do something with them – being an artist was never something I thought I’d be, ‘when I grew up’.

DW:  Often there can be a story behind a name.  Is that the case with you?

23rd Key: I struggle a lot when it comes to names, even when I used to play roller derby, I found coming up with a name harder than learning how to skate. The first show I was ever in I went under the pseudonym ‘Keys’, it was basically just because it sounds like my real last name and was my nickname for a long time. Twenty-three has been my favourite number since I can remember and is actually the date of my birth, so I kind of just put the two together. It’s a pretty poor story I guess, hopefully the work I make makes up for it.

cannibal_2013

Continue Reading →

E.L.K in the Woods

Archibald Prize nominee, Luke Cornish aka E.L.K, is the first stencil artist to be nominated for the award. Ever. We managed to get a quick interview with him in between his hectic schedule of newspaper interviews, TV appearances and flights between Sydney and Melbourne…

How have you found it since everything blew up?

Everyone wants a piece, it’s very flattering, but it’s very frustrating too.

More jump off after the jump off

Continue Reading →

E.L.K – First Stencil Artist in the Archibald Prize

Australian stencil artist E.L.K has made it into the runnings for one of the countries most prestigious awards, the Archibald portrait prize.

E.L.K., aka Luke Cornish, has made the news with the first ever stencil art to be entered into the awards and is hotly tipped to be a finalist, watch this space…

www.elkstencils.com