Luke 's cover image
Luke

Luke Cornish

Year of Award: 2013 Award State: Victoria Arts - Visual > Painting And Illustration
To establish an international recognition of Australian stencil art through networking and collaborating with highly successful artists - UK, France, USA
Download

The first use of stencils in artistic expression can be seen in prehistoric cave sites, including the works of Indigenous Australians. The advent of modern stencil art can be traced back to the late 1960s, when artists such as John Fekner began spray painting his text on the streets of New York City, and French artist Ernest Pignon-Ernest stencilled silhouettes of a nuclear bomb in the south of France, as a protest against France’s nuclear policies. The form evolved in the late 1970s Dutch when artist Hugo Kaagmaan decorated the streets of Amsterdam with his punk inspired stencils, and in the early 1980s, the art of Blek le Rat first being found on the streets of Paris.

Stencil art attained prominence in the art world with the immense popularity of Bristol-based stencil artist Banksy in the mid 2000’s. Banksy, whose true identity remains unknown, has achieved huge success unprecedented for a predominantly street-based artist.

Stencil art exploded in Australia on the streets in the early 2000’s. The events of 11 September 2001in the United States, and the Australian Government’s decision to involve Australia in the war in Iraq created a desire by many to protest and comment. In the days before social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, stencil was a fast, cheap, easily reproducible and public means of delivering the message.

The medium of stencil art has evolved since its raw street beginnings, with developments in technology allowing the technique to be pushed to an almost photorealistic aesthetic, and in some cases has been transplanted from a street to a gallery setting.

I began making stencil art about a decade ago, first experimenting with political street stencils. After becoming frustrated with the ephemeral nature of street art I began pushing the boundaries of the technique in my studio. My technique developed from initially creating works using single layered stencils, to two, three and on to multiple layers, to incorporating up to 100 separated stencils in my current works. In ten years I have evolved from experimenting with a new medium, to creating art that is held in public and private collections, nationally and internationally.

My career highlights to date include being the first streetbased artist to be nominated for the Archibald Prize (2012), having a work acquired by the National Portrait Gallery of Australia (2013) and being awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2013.

My project was undertaken between the 14th of July and the 29th of August 2014, when I travelled to the United States of America, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Romania to liaise and collaborate with artists and galleries with the desired outcome of not only raising my profile and arts practice by gaining practical insights into the art scenes in these countries, but also raising the profile of Australian stencil art internationally.

Related fellows
Tracey Lock-Weir, Tracey
Arts - Visual > Painting And Illustration
2012
Ellen HICKMAN, Ellen
Arts - Visual > Painting And Illustration
2009
Richard APEL, Richard
Arts - Visual > Painting And Illustration
2008
Irene SUTHERLAND, Irene
Arts - Visual > Painting And Illustration
2003
Elizabeth LAMONT, Elizabeth
Arts - Visual > Painting And Illustration
2003
Jillian DAVIS, Jillian
Arts - Visual > Painting And Illustration
2002
Naomi GILLETT (Now CHRISTIAN), Naomi
Arts - Visual > Painting And Illustration
1999
Agnieszka GOLDA, Agnieszka
Arts - Visual > Painting And Illustration
1998
Mary LAURENSON, Mary
Arts - Visual > Painting And Illustration
1998
Noris IOANNOU, Noris
Arts - Visual > Painting And Illustration
1996