Don’t Shoot the Messenger is a riveting and intentionally confrontational exhibition from Sydney-based street artist and Archibald Prize finalist, Luke Cornish (aka E.L.K.), who originally hails from Canberra.

This extraordinary solo show features 54 meticulously hand-cut stencil works, with each piece created using up to 1,000 stencils and hundreds of different colours of aerosol paint that is layered until the work takes on a photographic realism. This body of work was created over the course of 2020, after Luke’s plans for overseas travel were stymied by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Challenging viewers with his no-holds-barred choice of subject matters and art materials in Don’t Shoot the Messenger was one of Luke’s aims. There’s an upside-down figure of Christ on a cross, paper currency from dozens of different countries adorned with confronting images, and all manner of weapons – from riot shields to hunting knives, meat cleavers, swords and cutthroat razors.

“The overall theme of the exhibition is injustice and protest, and people rising up against injustice globally,” Luke explains. There are works inspired from trips to places overseas where citizens have protested en masse, like Hong Kong and Venezuela, and marches held for the Black Lives Matter movement around the world as well as issues closer to home like the Religious Discrimination Bill proposed by the Morrison government, and the greed and influence of the mining industry.

Luke will be in attendance to launch Don’t Shoot the Messenger on opening nightjoin us on Friday 12 March from 6-8pm at aMBUSH Gallery Kambri, where there’ll be live music from DJ Chloe Maguire and complimentary drinks from Capital Brewing and Lerida Wines.

The exhibition will then be open free of charge to the public, closing on Sunday 11 April (showing daily from 10am-6pm weekdays and 12pm-5pm on weekends).

Check aMBUSH Gallery on Facebook and Instagram for exhibition updates.




153-21 aMBUSH Gallery
Cultural Centre 153
Tangney Road
Australian National University
Acton ACT 2601

Visiting by Public Transport: view Transport Canberra website here.
Accessibility: the gallery is wheel chair accessible.
Interstate Visitors: please view aMBUSH’s Curated Guide to Canberra.







Kambri Cultural Centre and Marie Reay Teaching Centre Events Manager
aMBUSH Gallery and Events

//  [email protected]