Sally Harrison's Dot Paintingswww.ArtPal.com/saharrison
In 1949 a white man raped my crippled 14 yr old mother, who was exiled to the far north & I to Bomaderry Mission. 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 at 6 yrs, I was adopted. My identity was erased & I ceased to exist as a person.
I can't express The Horros of A New "home", Name & Religion that switched & split My Brains (bipolarism) by the enforced use of My Right Hand. It Chained Me to Beliefs that I was "a child of the devil" (prophecy) & Baldwin Spencer's Opinion that half-castes were only fit for domestic service. The Government Implemented His Opinion, stripping me of My Humanity & Labelling me as "sub-human".
My "parents" uprooted The Good Work of The Missionaries & Served The Church & Government as "god's" Representatives on Earth. They Implemented Their Beliefs To The Letter by Denying Love & Friendship & Limiting Me to the use of My Cerebellum, which controls voluntary movement & fine motor skills - thus making me Autistic. After 4pm every day, I helped them clean the Commonwealth Bank. When I was 8 extreme boredom Drove Me to Learn To Read Time Magazine & Reader's Digest in the staff room after doing my jobs. 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 persona 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 brain to One Being, subordinate to my early childhood training. Between 2014 & Now, 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 Creator 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. 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). Unlike other cultures, we do not mention The Dead, for Fear of The Mischief They can cause to The Living - which I've Experienced at Great Personal Cost.
Our Life's Purpose was to Preserve Our Sacred Land. Of course acts of savagery occurred, but they pale into insignificance.compared to the barbarity of later cultures separated from us by 40,000+ years. A Mere 247 years Cannot Erase what Is encoded in our Psyche & DNA. All our needs were met by the ancient arts of stone & wood technology & A Wealth of Knowledge of bush foods & medicines.
A lifetime spent Learning To Be Flexible & live with adversity Taught Me that Necessity is The Mother of Invention.15 years of Self-Education on Aboriginal Beliefs & symbolism in order to deliver TAFE drawing & painting courses to inmates at various correctional centres, Taught Me that painting Mirrors Life. I faced exactly the same mental, emotional & physical challenges as I did in real 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 - particularly the French Impressionists helped Restore Mental Discipline. Their Beliefs Gave Me Wings To Fly Above the Limitations of Outmoded Colonial Imperialism.
MY ANCIENT MIND & THE TIMELESS LAND
THE BIBLE & THE POWER OF LOVE
VISIONS THROUGH MY "LOOKING GLASS"
PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF ABUSE
THE PEACE OF GOD'S OWN COUNTRY
BUSH MEDICINE & OTHER STORIES
THE RHYTHMS OF LIFE