Sally Harrison's Dot Paintingswww.ArtPal.com/saharrison
In 1949 a white man raped my crippled 14 yr old mother. She was exiled to the Qld Border & I to Bomaderry Mission to become a Domestic Servant. The Missionaries imbued me with a strict code of honesty, self-discipline & love of goodness. There was no disrespect, disobedience, lies or shirking of responsibilities, but when I was 6, I was adopted. My Identity Was Erased & I ceased to exist as a person. My White Parents uprooted what was cultivated in me & all contact with Aborigines ceased.
I can't express the horrors of a New Home, Name & Religion which Switched & Split My Brains by the enforced use of my right hand. This chained me to the opinion of Sir Walter Baldwin Spencer, that half-castes were little better than animals (their parents) & only fit for domestic service. So, The Government Bowed Down to the Exalted Opinion of Sir Walter Baldwin Spencer, which stripped me of my humanity, & Classified Me & Mine as Pan Troglodyte.
To Ensure my Neocortex could not develop, my parents Denied Friendships outside of school hours, Made Life Hell behind closed doors & Used Me to help clean a bank after school till 9 pm. They impaired my Ability to Function Intellectually, but Failed to break my Spirit. Thankfully, when I was 10 the nuns persuaded them to let me attend Saturday morning art classes.
In 1987, after a lifetime of Dumb Servility, my White Identity disintegrated. In 1992 I taught myself to dot paint to Reconnect to My Aboriginality & undertook the laborious task of piecing together my shattered mind. In 2005, I rejected Parental & Social Ideas & returned to those of my Mother Figure at Bomaderry, Sister Kennedy. Her Example Taught Me To Work & Do Without Like An Adult From Infancy which Prepared Me for Adulthood.
The Key to Self-Acceptance has been the Restoration of My Persona to its Original State of One Being called The Brain, Subordinate to My Early Childhood Training. In 2014 I made myself Go Back To School Online at Home & Learn The Etymology of English words & The Origin of Cultural & Religious Beliefs, then compared them with Aboriginal Beliefs & Languages. I found similar Beliefs & many identical words to those of Sumer (Primeval Chaldea) Akkad (Assyria) & Ur (Babylon).
In The First Time, Our Primeval Sky Heroes called Our Land "Arralu, The Sacred Land Below The Horizon" & imparted Star Lore; Kinship Laws to avoid inbreeding; Laws for The Preservation of plant & animal species in existing ecosystems; Introduced Fire-Stick farming [a slow burn that allowed new plant growth]. They Forbade Creation of Images of them in Human or Animal form & gave Sacred Symbols & Designs to Represent Them in Sacred Art - Our Religion.
After 40,000 years of Living in Harmony with The Earth [Our Cathedral] a mere 247 years cannot erase what is Encoded in Our Psyche & DNA. As Cromagnon Man separated from the rest of mankind for tens of thousands of years, the ancient arts of early man & stone technology met all our needs. Our Main Purpose was to Maintain Our Sacred Land Above All Else & Preserve It For Our Continued Existence & for Future Generations.
After A Lifetime Learning To Be Flexible & Live with Adversity, Life taught me That Necessity is The Mother of Invention. Teaching myself about Aboriginal Beliefs & Symbolism over the past 15 years to deliver TAFE drawing & painting courses to Black & White Inmates at 5 different Correctional Centres taught me that Painting Mirrors Life. I faced exactly The Same Mental, Emotional & Physical Challenges as I did in other areas of my life. Teaching those less fortunate than myself to find Pleasure & Self-Esteem through drawing & painting taught me to overcome the Worst Aspects of My Social Conditioning - Fear of being myself, Fear of Failure & Fear of what others might think of my abilities.
Love of Art & Painting gave me The Best of Both Worlds. My favorite artists influenced My Growth as A Human Being, allowing me to Rise Above The Limitations imposed by Arrested Development.
MY ROOTS - ADOPTION & BOMADERRY
Indigenous Themes and Stories
VISIONS THROUGH MY "LOOKING GLASS"
Wildflowers in God's Own Country
Birds and Animals
THE RHYTHMS OF LIFE