Luke Cornish (ELK)

Born 1979
Lives and works in Sydney

Artist's CV

ELK confirms the role of the artist in society. He does not flinch from contradictions; he avoids tributes or criticisms, judgements or valedictions. But he demands of us a moment to consider what is happening in distant places—places which yearn for peace.

Luke Cornish is 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 cans of spray paint. A decade on, Cornish has literally carved his name into public consciousness.

Using up to 100 layers of carefully hand-cut acetate, Cornish (aka ELK) sprays layer upon layer of paint until his images obtain the realism of a photograph but resonate with an altogether different veracity.

Over the past five years Cornish has been granted many awards, including  the Churchill Fellowship in 2013; a Metro Art Prize finalist in 2011; the Australian Stencil Art Prize, 2010; creating a shortlisted Tropfest film on the making of his Archibald portrait; and finally the Archibald Prize itself. In 2013 Cornish's portrait of controversial Catholic priest Father Bob Maguire achieved a new auction record for a work by an Australian street artist. Finding his place in the fine art world, Cornish shows that even if the pen is mightier than the sword, the scalpel might win out overall.

\ Artworks

On point

2013 \ Aerosol on glass \ 40x30cm

Anarchy in the EU

2016 \ Sublimation print and aerosol on brushed aluminium \ 60x40cm


2013 \ Aerosol on glass \ 120x65cm

Benevolent - panel 3

2014 \ Stencil, spray on board \ 40x40cm


2017 \ Aerosol enamel on canvas \ 190x130cm


2013 \ Aerosol on glass \ 40x30cm


2013 \ Aerosol on glass \ 70x115cm


2013 \ Aerosol on glass \ 40x30

House on Back

2013 \ Aerosol on glass \ 40x30cm


2015 \ Aerosol on Aluminium composite \ 160x110cm

Police I

2014 \ Stencil and spray on Aluminium composite board \ 58.5x90cm

Police II

2014 \ Stencil and spray on Aluminium composite board \ 90.5x60cm

Rat looking up

2014 \ Stencil and spray on Aluminium composite board \ 60x80cm


2013 \ Aerosol on glass \ 110x55cm

Sixth Wall

2016 \ Sublimation print and aerosol on brushed aluminium \ 60x40cm


2014 \ Bronze \ 20x9x5cm

War is Over

2016 \ Aerosol on Dibond \ 80x110cm

\ News


Congratulations to 2019 Archibald Finalists—Jun Chen, Luke Cornish, Jonathan Dalton and Paul Ryan

2 May 2019

Four Nanda\Hobbs artists have been selected for the 2019 Archibald Prize—Jun Chen, Luke Cornish, Jonathan Dalton, Paul Ryan with Jun Chen and Paul Ryan both doubling up. Jun Chen is also a Wynne Prize finalist and Paul Ryan is in the Sulman Prize.

Read more

\ Exhibitions featuring Luke Cornish (ELK)


Group Exhibition

14 August — 28 August 2021

Summer Exhibition

Group Exhibition

6 December 2017 — 20 January 2018

Luke Cornish (ELK)

Road to Damascus

2 February — 17 February 2017

Luke Cornish (ELK)

Vanishing Point

21 April — 6 May 2016

Brave New World

Group Exhibition

18 August — 28 August 2015

Luke Cornish (ELK)

Before Afghanistan

1 August — 16 August 2013

Contact Us

to find out more about Luke Cornish (ELK).

12 - 14 Meagher Street Chippendale, NSW 2008
Opening Hours
Monday to Friday, 9.00am - 5.30pm Saturday, 11am - 4pm Closed Public Holidays (and Easter Saturday)