Temple. Illustration by Bruce Granquist

As already mentioned, the actual shape of the temple is created by its walls and gateways. Even though these architectural elements are mainly to serve utilitarian purposes, they are also irresistible targets for the restless energy of Balinese artists. Some main gates grow to sizeable proportions and become like the proscenium arch that frames a theatre stage. The walls are often filled with carved ornamentation, sometimes long narrative panels.

Gate Pura Gerya Sakti. Illustration by Bruce Granquist

This an image of a door post at the venerable temple Pura Geria Sakti in the village of Kendran. This is a very important temple full of fine and intricate architectural forms. Compared with the richness of these magnificent shrines, this painting represents a rather humble example, a simple door post.

What makes this door post extraordinary is how nature is reclaiming it. As the moss grows on the porous and soft building stone, it creates different spaces, different dimensions. It seems there is a miniature universe on display here.

Illustration By Bruce Granquist