TALKING ART: Lorraine Kitching, Sally Harrison and Suzanne Matulich at the Arts Alive Conversations with Artists event.
TALKING ART: Lorraine Kitching, Sally Harrison and Suzanne Matulich at the Arts Alive Conversations with Artists event. Rob Williams

Stolen child saved by link with art

LOWOOD artist Sally Harrison was stolen as a young girl and cut off from her Aboriginal roots.

The renowned Ipswich painter, 64, shared her story about how she grew to be an artist at the Arts Alive launch of Conversation with Artists on Saturday.

"I really wanted to do a bit of myth busting about the Stolen Generation and where my principals and values have come from," she said, "because these have shone through in the challenges I've had to face in my life.

"For a long time I knew nothing about my culture. I was put in a mission home until I was six and then I was adopted. After that everything was cut off to me.

"I have no tribal roots or connections as a result and that is why I paint this way. I like painting the land. I am part of the land and it calls to me."

Mrs Harrison said her connection with art had saved her.

"With the loss of my identity, a new identity formed," she said.

"In the mission home I was trained to think and act as an adult and this has helped me to withstand all of the pressure of what an Aboriginal was thought to be. It saved me from becoming an alcoholic, committing suicide or going mad."

Conversations with Artists is a new initiative hosted by Arts Alive Ipswich on the fourth Saturday of each month.

The launch followed the opening of the organisation's new studio for creative arts at Jacaranda St, East Ipswich on Friday night.

The next event will be held on Saturday, July 27.