5 February 2015 Comment
+Melbourne Art Review: Thanks for chatting with us Danish. Tell me a little bit about your practice.
Danish Quapoor: “I make illustrations and collages and things. My work is almost exclusively tangible - I enjoy the processes of physically cutting and pasting collages, and illustrating directly onto paper, found objects or walls. My subject matter is quite varied, but I find myself drawn to creating works that are humorous, visually detailed / decorative and compositionally balanced. My works are also often self-referential, and utilise appropriation, wordplay, miscommunication and re-contextualisation to explore themes of appearances, underlying motives and seemingly frivolous situations.
I grew up reading cartoons and comic books, so I think I was always influenced by that aesthetic. I doodled and drew cartoons endlessly as a child and a teenager, and I always considered an artist / illustrator as my future career. I studied visual arts and completed my Bachelor of Creative Arts - Visual Arts (Honours) at USQ Toowoomba (QLD) in 2010. I moved to Melbourne in 2014, aiming to establish myself further as a visual artist and to exhibit more outside of my home state. I also just really, really like Melbourne, and I have a lot of friends here.”
+mar: (We love Melbourne too) What’s your favourite cafe or bar in Melbourne?
+mar: So, getting back to your work, can you tell me a bit about your process?
DQ: “I work quite differently when creating my collages and illustrations. For my collages, I gather images from encyclopaedias and op-shop books, and intricately cut them out with a fine scissors. Sometimes I will have an idea in mind for the image, and sometimes I will save the image (for as long as it takes) until I find a visual, conceptual and / or humorous match to complete the artwork. I create my illustrations much more instinctively - I often respond to the substrate size and shape, and build up an image from intricate details and repetitive line-work and decoration. I consider my works ‘finished’ at an indeterminate stage before they become too busy, cluttered or messy. I generally favour visual space, sparse compositions and fairly muted, achromatic or monochromatic colour schemes.
+mar: How do you keep your practice sustainable?
DQ: “I work full time digitally printing onto garments at a retail concept store in the city. I have been quite lucky in my job, as it is interesting and requires a level of creativity and artisanal attention to detail. I think having time away from my artwork gives me time to reflect, experience and find inspiration. As such, my day job and my art practice often inform each other. Ultimately, I think as long as I am enjoying myself and bettering myself as a person and as an artist, then I consider my practice to be sustainable.”
+mar: Do you have a show on at the moment?
DQ: “I recently showed some collage works in the Mixed Media exhibition at Brunswick St Gallery.”
+mar: What would you say is one of the biggest challenges being a young creative in Melbourne and trying to exhibit or produce art?
DQ: “Personally, my biggest challenge is having the time, effort and courage to go to exhibition openings and meet new people and artists. Finding the right balance of work / art / chores / rest / fun / procrastination is also a constant battle. I would recommend trying lots of different things - experiment with yourself as an artist, as a creative and as a person. Collaborate and make friends. Get out of your comfort zone. Imagine things. Do things. Or something.”
+mar: Do you have a favourite local artist? What inspired you?
DQ “I find endless inspiration in overheard snippets of conversation, op shop browsing and the stylistic choices of those less stylish than me. I also enjoy meeting new artists and collaborating as a form of interactive inspiration. I live in a house of five, so I am often inspired by their lives and artworks.
Some of my other current Melbourne artist teengirlcrushes include Jeremy Piert, menteurmenteur and The 7 Seas.”
+mar: What’s next?
DQ: ”I am working towards a solo show for (hopefully) later in the year or next year sometime. I’m currently layering paintings and drawings on glass, but I am open to the options that experimentation and creation allow. Oh, the possibilities….”