Sally Harrison's Dot Paintings

Sally Harrison's Dot Paintings

I was born in Victoria in 1949. My mother was crippled with polio and was only 14 when she was raped by a white man. Classed as neglected children, we were taken to the Cummeragunga Mission.12 months later my mother was exiled to a cattle station in northern NSW (near the Queensland border) to work as a domestic servant, while I was placed at Bomaderry Mission,100 miles south of Sydney.

I loved learning to become a domestic servant. This early training formed the bedrock of my life, instilling Honesty, self discipline, self respect and love of goodness in me from The Beginning. These were The Virtues I learned to live by. There was no dishonesty, no shirking of responsibilities, no foul language and no double standards. I could not have had a better start. I Fell From Grace with my Self after my adoption at 6 years, descending from this World of Light and Virtue into a Dark World of Chaos. My adoptive parents were Children Of A Lesser God at a lower stage of human development, who continually sought to satisfy the lowest of human passions and desires. In the process, they stripped me of everything I needed to develop normally.

I'm grateful my early training at Bomaderry saved me from committing suicide or sinking into the gutter in despair. When I left home, my 'mother' told me I was the hardest @#*@# she'd ever known, confirming my feelings that she had knowingly tried to destroy me, because I frustrated her Deceit, Lies and Sadism..Honesty was The Virtue that empowered me to withstand the enormous pressures brought to bear by my benighted parents, who were consumed by Hatred, Bitterness and Self-Pity. They didn't understand that these terrible feelings were the source of all their misery. I vowed never to be like them but couldn't escape their influence. I've battled all my life to overcome this, my parents' legacy.

Throughout my adult life, I've struggled to understand how my head works after abruptly being cut off from my Natural Self as a Protestant, left-handed aboriginal named Sally Harrison and forced to assume the identity of a Roman Catholic, Right-handed white person named Sally Cook. Words cannot express the chaos created by this disfigurement of my self-image and enforced use of my right hand. It split my personality and switched my brains from Right to Left (unlike right-handed people, left-handers are dominated by the Right Brain). I was walled up and imprisoned in my Right Mind - made nameless and voiceless, Bound by The Word of Governmental 'Authorities' to remain an ignorant 'sub-human' Child for the remainder of my life with no way out..

In 1992 I travelled from Queensland to Western Australia where I took up dot painting, learning to come to terms with my life as a person of two cultures diametrically opposed to each other - the most advanced, in opposition to and dominating, the most ancient..

Experience has taught me that painting mirrors life. You face exactly the same challenges with Art as you do in real life, which must be overcome with Honesty and Common Sense. It allows you to do your own Myth Busting and escape from Unnatural, Left-brain social conditioning into your Right Mind and Natural State of Being: The Domain of The Spirit of your Innocent childhood Self clothed in The Light of Honesty - Your 'Recording Angel', better known today as Your Sub-Conscious Self - a Pure, Honest Spirit that has acquired Maturity, Wisdom and Understanding through harsh experience. This 'Angelic' being, also known as a 'Messenger', is Your Intermediary between The Divine and Your Human Nature.

Thus I've learnt that I am independent of what my Authority Figures conditioned me to believe. I've come Home to my Self by using Art as The Key to unlock the door of this prison called 'my mind' or False 'self' - the artificial creation of my proud superiors - Authority Figures - 'Blinded By The Light' of Knowledge. Honesty is The Gift of Sight that allows me to see Reality and find Serenity in my Right Mind

Indigenous Themes and Stories


Birds and Animals


Bomaderry Mission Home

Urban Landscapes