In partnership with The Hill Street Country Club, we are proud to start our 2020 gallery exhibition calendar with our first show, Stubborn/Dream Loving — new illustration works and live musical performance by Alofa La’Nique Gould.
This will be the Oceanside local's first solo exhibition featuring colorful hand drawn illustrations and an emotional musical performance with her band IRYS, inspired by Gould’s samoan folklore heritage comic book storytelling of her non-binary black existence.
Gould invites the audience into her very personal space, a journalling of her past and present quest for well being. Alofa’s fun cartoon like self portraits provide an ease into complex issues of love and inherit emotional connections of childhood. Alofa encourages a communal message to embrace and consume space unapologetically.
Q&A with Alofa:
Q: What are you currently reading, listening to or looking at to fuel your work?
Reading: just downloaded Sisters Of The Yam to my phone.
Listening to: Cate Le Bon/Sheer Mag/Mereba/Sasami/Ama Lou
also, Black Truck is a fucking anthem...
Looking at: the alarms on my iPhone
Q: What are your biggest challenges to creating art and how do you deal with them?
Sometimes it’s hard to start somewhere. There are all these thoughts I have, it’s hard to not think twice, but I try to go with my gut feeling. Time management is challenging, too. I’ve gotten used to writing in a planner each day, so now I make to-do lists with personal, work, and art-related tasks. Keeping my life together also calls for setting a thousand alarms on my phone everyday.
Q: How do you navigate the art world?
I remind myself every single day that I deserve to be here, or there, or wherever.
Q: What mediums do you work with? How would you describe your subject matter?
I work mostly with colored pencil and marker. I storyboard moments I wish I could re-do, take back, or could have relished in for a little bit longer.
Q: When people ask you what you “do”, how do you answer?
I tell people I work with kids.
Q: Describe a childhood memory that has influenced your artwork.
My grandpa saved my sticky-note drawings above his desk. They were obnoxious little post-it-notes of my doodles and words, but I’m flattered he saved them. Every summer I’d walk into his room and there would be more and more of my drawings populating the wall and he’d try to sell my “art” back to me. But most of it was stuff I considered to be trash doodles, and he just kept them. It’s probably more funny to me because I love the guy, but that tender-hearted funny stuff still gets me. I like to aim for my comics to have that feeling.
Q: Has there been a shift or change in your life or work that has led to what you’re making now?
Yes. My grandma passing away has changed my creative habits. Her death still feels big and monumental. It changed a lot. Time passes differently. I used to run and show her everything I made, I felt so confident being vulnerable with her. She always asked me to play my songs for her and I never felt embarrassed to draw in front of her. She occupies a lot of my mind, even more now that she’s gone, there’s always a bit of her in my work.
Q: Do you see your work as autobiographical at all?
Definitely. Sometimes in serious ways and sometimes in not so serious ways.
Q: What is your personal message to your artwork and how does that connect to a communal and universal message?
I aim to connect with the everyday motions of life—to highlight everyday tasks where funny and extraordinary things can happen, even if it’s just in my head. Humor has always been my saving grace, so I shoot for a laugh, a sigh, an exhale, or a deep breath.
Q: Do you intend your work to challenge the viewer?
Sometimes, definitely. I love to create sentimental pieces, but I also address my blackness and cultural background in my work.
Q: Is the creative impulse driven by a personal need to ease pain and/or satiate desire?
Musically yes, illustration wise, no.
Q: What three things never fail to bring you pleasure?
The way my dog sits on the couch, The moment Emily admits she likes Fran on Shrill, and Belly by Julia Pott. And if there were a 4th, it would be my partner Ale explaining why rubbing Vicks on my feet cures any and everything.
Q: Whats your motto?
I don’t think I have one, to be honest.
Q: What’s your personal connection to your work?
I like to document my life. I’ve always journaled, I’ve always been creative, so...
About the Artist
Alofa Gould was born in the summer heat of Virginia in 1994 to two love-struck opposites. She’s an Oceanside based artist and educator exploring her identity by uncovering stories of her family’s wins and losses. Working with self portraiture, she depicts a separate world interpreting her Samoan ancestry from the perspective of her Black experience. She creates semi autobiographical illustrations and comics representing re-imagined gaps of her childhood with reconstructed memories, possibilities, and curiosities.
Opening reception is 2/22/20 from 7-10pm in the Linksoul/HSCC gallery space. 530 S. Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA.
The Hill Street Country Club is a non-profit organization dedicated to shaping the growing arts and culture scene in Oceanside and the surrounding North Country region. We strive to create an inclusive and diverse atmosphere that reflects the socioeconomic landscape of our community. Our workshop space is wheelchair accessible.