Garden Reflexxx and Stelly G: Statement
Memoriabilia, by Garden Reflexxx and Stelly G
For A Place Where We Can Be Together, Garden Reflexxx and Stelly G present Memoriabilia; a multi-media living room installation presenting their affinity for family sharing and home moviemaking.
This work includes a printed image from Smoker's Break: Depersonalisation, Stelly (2021), a video retrospective called Stelly Movie (2022) played on loop, a suspended blanket woven by Belinda Eades, five hanging keychains featuring frames of previous films, and furniture stripped from the real life living room of the makers. In Memoriabilia, Garden Reflexxx and Stelly G Pirate Bay an idea from gay direct-photographer Wolfgang Tillmans as an abundant offering to their friends. Keepsakes, merchandise, memorabilia - a way to find the keys to your home and heart.
One part of a Fijian homecoming tradition Sevusevu can involve loading up bootlegged movies to give out to family members. Scenes, moments, seconds, poses. Memoriabilia is portable cinema by three artists in a catfight for self-presentation. The work honors the surroundings of artmaking through BTS: three people exploring their own visual grammar in relation to industry standards.
Drawn to DVD special features, and inspired by 6 years of work, Stelly Movie plays a patchwork flashback tracking the who/what/where. Films include Caledonian Road (2016), Dark Mother (2017), Faddy: I Just Give A Damn (2017) and Number Ones (2021). Ever growing mythology of the self? Derivative copycat art? Single use containers with photos? The artists welcome associations to proclaim - after years of working - they deserve a cheap pic.
‘We look to memorabilia to carry us through…’
The three artists collect images. For Jen, a speculative ‘everyday’ takes iPhotography and makes it painterly. For Stelly, it’s good times with a demand for a phone charger (can someone else take a pic?). For André it’s a cheap quote, found online, screenshotted for latent inspiration. Each artist focuses on friendships, relationships, and how inseparable they are from practice. Narrative is a loaded term - for people hyperconscious of cringe art speak - yet Jen, Stelly, and André fixate on their inability to rationalize outside a daily present. Clarity is hard when there’s history involved. This is what trying looks like.
These framed stills extend the artists’ struggle with narrative and biography. Between a performance and film practice, Garden Reflexxx and Stelly G use merchandise as creative non-fiction by way of outsiders concerned with the challenge of communication. Cultural histories to the front - of Sydney living, meta-film, partying, community building, social anxiety, female friendships - these keychains are a treasure trove. A statement of bestiehood, an archive of artmaking, and above all else the process journal they never had of their ill-documented artistry.
“It’s for our friends. Beautiful, dramatic, and so hot…”