Todd Fuller’s 2021 solo show at .M Contemporary Gallery explores what appears to be the first evidence of a European same-sex relationship in Australia as well as what could be considered the first European trial and recorded gay-hate-crime.
The incident at the heart of Fuller’s exhibition involved two young Dutch sailors off the coast of Western Australia nearly 50 years before Captain Cook ‘found’ Australia. In 1727 an East Indes Trade vessel veered off course so see the land that we now know as Western Australia and was shipwrecked on a reef. According to diary notes and the ships log, these sailors performed the act of sodomy and were then marooned on seperate islands as punishment for their crime. From the reference material available, Fuller speculates the nature of this relationship. The exhibition at M Contemporary features Fuller’s new animation as well as the works on paper which created it.
Todd Fuller has previously explored Australian Queer History with animations depicting the relationship between Captain Moonlite and James Nesbitt, Marks and Feeny, Troughman and participatory animation projects around the 2017 Postal Plebiscite. He also collaborated with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir for the opening of the Museum of Love and Protest for the 40th anniversary of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in 2018.