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. 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 their Idol. 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. 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 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 Infancy & Prepared Me for Adulthood.
The Key to Self-Acceptance has been the Restoration of My 2 Selves to their 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 & 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 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. They called Our Land "Arralu, The Sacred Land Below The Horizon". The Aboriginal word "Araluen" (Aralu + En = Lord), means Place of Water Lilies - Our Ancient Ancestors' Symbol of The Sacred Feminine called the "Flower Of Life".
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 taught me what My Parents couldn't.
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 experienced in Society. LIFE Forced Me to Rely On My Instincts & Intuition like My Ancient Ancestors to Problem Solve. Through a long process of trial & error, I've 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 gave me The Best of Both Worlds & My favourite artists became my Spiritual Teachers, Friends & Guides.
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