Sally Harrison's Dot Paintings

Sally Harrison's Dot Paintings

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. At 6 yrs of age, my world was turned upside down when 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; a Benighted Dead Man. Sir Walter Baldwin Spencer's 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. Their Attempt to Break My Will & My Heart impaired my Ability to Function, 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 Servility & inability to articulate my problems, my White Identity disintegrated. In 1992 I taught myself to dot paint to Reconnect with my Aboriginal Spirit & 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 My Infancy & Prepared Me for Adulthood.

My Early Childhood Training is The Key to Restoring My 2 Selves to their Original State of One Being called The Brain, Subordinate to My Teachers. In 2014 I made myself "Go Back To School" Online at Home & LEARN The Etymology of English words & Origin of Cultural/Religious Beliefs, then compared them with Aboriginal Beliefs & Languages. I discovered similar Beliefs & many identical/phonetically similar words to those of Sumer, Akkad & Babylon

In The First Time (Zep Tepi), Our Primeval Sky Heroes made Us Responsible to maintain Our Land, which They called "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.

Society's Expectation that we Fit their "perfect" Model for our lives is A Bridge Too Far for Me & Mine. Knowledge of itself doesn't always equal Understanding. After Mining The Depths of My Soul when all hope was gone to Endure & Overcome Adversity, Dot Painting has taught me what my parents & their peers could not.

In the past 15 years, teaching myself about Aboriginal Beliefs & Symbolism, as well as teaching TAFE drawing & painting courses to Black & White Inmates at various Correctional Centres, has taught me that Painting Mirrors Life. I faced exactly The Same Mental, Emotional & Physical Challenges as I experience in Real Life. This Forced Me to Rely On My Instincts & Intuition to Problem Solve. Through a long process of trial & error, I've gradually learnt to overcome The Worst of my social conditioning, Fear of Being Myself, Fear of Failure & Fear of what others might think of me & my Abilities.

Love of Art & Painting Gifted to me The Best of Both Worlds. The Thoughts & Attitudes of my favourite artists have become my Spiritual Teachers, Friends & Guides.


Indigenous Themes and Stories


Wildflowers in God's Own Country

Birds and Animals