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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, April 27, 2015
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When one is into the arts, one gets to circulate and participate in the creative dynamics without necessarily sticking to one medium. Elwah Gonzales, an improvisational player known to be with the Kinenkoy Comedy Express before and Bacolod's Improvisational Group, or BIG now, has launched herself as a visual artist with a first solo exhibition titled ‘Gibberish,' also the name of an improvisational exercise.

Elwah asked, “what if talking in gibberish is “normal” instead of speaking reasonably. Would we feel weightless but insignificant or burdened but true to ourselves? Ask yourself this: is chaos freedom or a crushing restraint? One way to answer that question is to give you a world that embodies just that. What she offers is a warm but dark, hungry and trippy, shallow to deep, scared yet bored, bleak but ecstatic experience, that takes root in no profound personal story or perfect sense.

There is no pattern or theme because that's what we are – a glorious mess. If you can plot the range of emotions you have in a single day through a graph, you will not see sense, pattern, or a straight line. You will see a doodle. It is not entirely a bad thing. Doodles happen to be her first love. They revealed to her the different aspects of self that bore interesting characters, such as oddballs with eyes not touching the lower lid. These depict vulnerability where we water down our real selves just to belong.

Outside we have structure. Inside of ourselves, we collapse, blaze, condescend, and evade. We are utterly, ruthlessly full of gibberish. Without any reservations, without nothing but gibberish, we would be unapologetic and perhaps, emancipated. Gibberish, out there and in here, unites us. When everything and everyone else stops making sense, gibberish is the best attitude to wear. It is the language of mishaps, of chance, of random. Self taught gibberish art like Elwah's imparts a free keepsake to spectators upon contact. Aside from sharing her work, the only thing she gives free of charge is her attitude. You will see a lot of that. None of this makes sense now, but it will because asparagus eyebrows, waffle lava, and magenta tiger.”

Gonzales, a resident of Bacolod City, graduated her high school in St. Scholastica's Academy. She took a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Riverside College but after passing the 2010 Nursing board examination, she did not pursue her career in the hospital.

During her college days, she has always been into the arts. She joined Artwork's T-shirt competitions for four years and was a semi-finalist, that got her designs printed and sold on Artwork stores nationwide. This year, her artwork "Self Queries" was chosen to be featured and published next year on a textbook for Philippine Contemporary Art that will be distributed in the Philippines for grade 12 students. She took up summer workshops for theater improvisation, film production and digital photography in the succeeding years at the Bacollywood workshops in Bacolod City.

Gonzales is currently a fulltime artist and is co-founder and marketing director of the House of Frida, a budding art space, retails/merchandise and an event production in the city. She has joined more than 10 group exhibits, like “Exhibit Exhibit Pag May Time”, “Oculus”, “Sleepless Nights”, “Love Child”, “Art of Giving”, “Rebirth of Sins”, “Pay it Forward”, “My Own Lisa”, and “One by One”, to name a few. Her first solo exhibit is at the House of Frida that opened April 24. *



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