Luke Cornish travelled to the United States of America, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Romania to establish an international recognition of Australian stencil art through networking and collaborating with highly successful artists. Luke liaised and collaborated with artists and galleries with the desired outcome of not only raising his 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.
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 in New York City and France. The form evolved in the late 1970s in Amsterdam and Paris.
Stencil art attained prominence in the art world with the immense popularity of Bristol-based stencil artist Banksy in the mid 2000’s. Stencil art exploded in Australia on the streets in the early 2000’s. The events of 11 September 2001 in 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.
Luke began making stencil art about a decade ago, first experimenting with political street stencils. After becoming frustrated with the ephemeral nature of street art he began pushing the boundaries of the technique in his studio. His 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 his current works.
In ten years Luke has evolved from experimenting with a new medium, to creating art that is held in public and private collections, nationally and internationally. His career highlights to date include being the first street based 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.