art, Forgotten Australians, painting


by Mim Willson-Dekker (guest author) on 31 March, 2010

The painting ‘Depression: Abuse in Children’s Home and at Work as an Adult’ by artist Mim Willson-Dekker, depicts the events that triggered her suicide attempt in 1971.

Mim Willson-Dekker was born in 1929 in Toowoomba, Queensland. At the age of nine, her mother was widowed and went to work. As a result, Mim was placed in Dr Dill Mackay Home in Auburn, New South Wales. The abusive episodes in her painting took place at Dr Dill Mackay Home, her foster home and thoughout her work as a lab attendant in the Chemistry Department at the University of Queensland.

Depression: Abuse in Children’s Home and at Work as an Adult
Copyright Mim Willson-Dekker 2002

2 thoughts on “Depression”

  1. Mim, this painting is powerful amazing.

    The bath line-up vignette reminds me of the beginning of Morris Gleitzman’s book (that I read with my 9-year-old) Once, about a Jewish child’s experience of an orphanage (and then the larger world) in Poland during World War II. The narrator tries to persuade one of the nuns to let another boy, the narrator’s friend, go to the front of the queue, so he can use the water before it’s grey.

  2. Mim Willsondekker

    9 July 2010

    Cath, encouraged by your kind words.

    I feel more connected to life after reading what you wrote. Will read Morris Gleitzman’s book. I too remember the grey bath water in the children’s homes. It is healng to know yur nine year old has such a mother as you.

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