Sally Harrison's Dot Paintings

Sally Harrison's Dot Paintings

www.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. Like an ignorant lackey, the government bowed to his prejudice, stripped me of my humanity & classified me as "sub-human".

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 cerebellum which controls voluntary movement & fine motor skills. Every evening after school, 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 as I waited 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 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 self to its original state called the brain, subordinate to my early childhood training. Between 2014-2017 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 life's purpose was to maintain this 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 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 influenced my development as a humane being. Their heartfelt visions & ideas gave me wings to rise above the limitations imposed by my arrested development.




THE 12 SPIRITUAL STRANDS OF MY DNA




Indigenous Themes and Stories




VISIONS THROUGH MY "LOOKING GLASS"




Wildflowers in God's Own Country




Birds and Animals




THE RHYTHMS OF LIFE