Sally Harrison's Dot Paintingswww.ArtPal.com/saharrison
The Forces that shape our lives.
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, my world was turned upside down. My Adoptive White Parents uprooted all the good cultivated in me & The Government decreed no contact with Aborigines.
I can't express the horrors of The Word Made Flesh; a New Home, Name & Religion which Switched/Split My Brains by 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 Science classified Me & Mine as "Belonging to Pan Troglodyte". The Government Bowed Down like a Fawning Lackey to its Idol, Sir Walter Baldwin Spencer, whose Opinion stripped me of my humanity.
To Ensure My Brain didn't 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 to Understand Myself. 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, Preparing 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/phonetically similar words to those of Sumer, Akkad & Babylon.
In The First Time, Our Primeval Sky Heroes called Our Land "Arralu, The Sacred Land Below The Horizon". They imparted Star Lore; Kinship Laws to avoid inbreeding; Laws for The Preservation of plant/animal species in existing ecosystems for present & future generations; Introduced Fire-Stick farming; a slow burn that allowed new plant growth for their benefit & Forbade Idolatry & the creation of Images of them. Instead, They Gave Symbols & Designs to Represent Them in Sacred Art - The Religion of Traditional Aborigines.
Society's Expectation that we Fit their "perfect" Model for our lives is A Bridge Too Far for Me & Mine. A mere 247 years cannot erase 40,000 years of Living in Harmony with Nature & The Earth - Our Cathedral - Encoded in Our Psyche & DNA.
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 own Social Conditioning - Fear of being myself, Fear of Failure & Fear of what others might think of me & my abilities.
Love of Art & Painting gave me The Best of Both Worlds. My favourite artists have influenced my growth & development as an artist, which in turn, has allowed me to overcome The Challenges imposed by Arrested Development.
THE BOMADERRY MISSION HOME
Indigenous Themes and Stories
VISIONS THROUGH MY "LOOKING GLASS"
Wildflowers in God's Own Country
Birds and Animals
THE RHYTHMS OF LIFE