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 far north & 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.
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 & Chained Me to Sir Walter Baldwin Spencer's Opinion that half-castes were only Fit For Domestic Service. So the Government Bowed Down to Baldwin Spencer's "Expertise" & Stripped Me of My Humanity by Classifying Me as A Primate.
My White Parents uprooted what was Cultivated in Me & Initiated a Cruel & Effective Assimilation Policy Rooted in Ancient History. They Denied Friendships; LIMITED ME to the use of My "Little Brain" (Cerebellum) which controls Voluntary Movement & Fine Motor Skills & Used Me to help clean a Bank after school every evening till 9pm. Extreme Boredom Drove Me to Learn to Read Time Magazine & Reader's Digest in the Staff Room, while waiting to go home after doing my chores. 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 Self to My Original State called The Brain, Subordinate to My Early Childhood Training. In 2014 I Re-Educated Myself At Home on The Origins of Cultural & Religious Beliefs. I compared them with Aboriginal Beliefs & Languages & found similar Beliefs & many identical words to those of Ancient Sumer (Primeval Chaldea) Akkad (Assyria) & Ur (Babylonia).
Our Primeval Creators called Our Land Arralu, The Sacred Land Below The Horizon. They Imparted Knowledge Through The Dreaming & Basis of All Aspects of Life in Traditional Aboriginal Societies, eg: Land Management & Territorial Rights, Division of Labour, Hunting & Gathering, Kinship Laws to Avoid Inbreeding, Social Control & Star Lore. They Forbade Creation of Images of them in Human or Animal form & Gave Us Sacred Symbols & Designs to Represent Them in Sacred Art (Our Religion). Above all, Our Sole Purpose in Life was to Maintain Our Sacred Land & Preserve it for Our Survival & Future Generations; hence, No Wars.
After 40,000+ years 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, All Our Needs were met by the Ancient Arts of Stone & Wood Technology & A Wealth of Knowledge of Bush Foods & Medicines.
A Lifetime of Misery Learning to Be Flexible & Live with Adversity, Taught Me that Necessity is The Mother of Invention. 15 years of teaching myself Aboriginal Beliefs & Symbolism in order to deliver TAFE drawing & painting courses to Black & White inmates at 5 Correctional Centres, taught me that Painting Mirrors Life. I faced exactly the same mental, emotional & physical challenges as I did in External 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 Think of Me & My Abilities.
My Favourite Artists Influenced My Development as A Humane Being. Their Heartfelt Visions & Ideas Gave Me Wings to Rise Above The Limitations Imposed by My Arrested Development.
MY ROOTS - BOMADERRY & ADOPTION
Indigenous Themes and Stories
VISIONS THROUGH MY "LOOKING GLASS"
Wildflowers in God's Own Country
Birds and Animals
THE RHYTHMS OF LIFE