Daniel Qualischefski is the newest addition to the team at Umbrella Studio contemporary arts. Daniel hit the ground running as Media and Gallery Coordinator in July; and we’ve finally managed to pin him down for a quick introduction.
Where were you living and working before moving to Townsville?
I was living in Toowoomba, working at the Towwomba Regional Art Gallery for about a year and a half.
What was it that attracted you to the job at Umbrella Studio?
I was working contracts at the Regional Gallery; it was a few different contracts over a variety of positions and they were coming to an end, so I was looking for a change and looking at what positions were available all around Australia, and this looked like a good one.
How have you found your first few weeks in Townsville?
It’s pretty much been the busiest time apparently. From having Legacy: Reflections on Mabo, a huge exhibition that’s now touring for a few years, and PUNQ happening; it’s been quite a busy time to come in. It was ‘trial by fire’, as some people say.
What are your first impressions of Townsville’s arts scene?
It’s vibrant. Especially having come in while Strand Ephemera and NAFA and all of these amazing things were going on, it seems to be a good time to come. It’s similar I guess to Toowoomba with the street art. They had a festival running for a few years called First Coat Festival, which activated the streets similarly. However, Umbrella’s is a different model to what I’ve previously worked in, so it’s been interesting to see the members playing such a big part in the exhibitions and the community.
Tell me about your own Arts practice.
I do illustrations mostly. There’s some sort of collage and painting included in that, but illustration is really the basis of my practice. Kind of quirky stuff, I guess. I work under a pseudonym, Danish Quapoor; that started at uni, a friend of mine had an -ish surname, so everyone in the class got an -ish name and mine was ‘Danish’. The ‘Quapoor’ was kind of a riff on Anish Kapoor, a famous artist who does big installation pieces and colour spheres.
When can we expect to see some of your work on show locally?
Umbrella’s Members’ Exhibition is toward the end of the year, so I’ll have to make something for that, I suppose. I’m also working towards an exhibition at Murky Waters studio, which I haven’t started yet, but it’ll come up eventually. I work better to a deadline, so I’m trying to get them to give me a time slot I can work towards.
Daniel is part of the team at Umbrella Studio contemporary art. The Gallery recently announced that it will soon relocate to its permanent new home at 408 Flinders Street, Townsville CBD.