CAS Blog

Artwork inspired by Bali

Thursday, October 31, 2019

In July, I went to Bali, Indonesia for a family trip. While travelling, I had also planned to study the culture and ethos of Bali and create two artworks inspired by this.

Even on the first day, it struck me how important the tourist industry was to Bali as it is one of the major contributors to their economy. There were hotels and shops everywhere, ranging from modern to traditional and expensive to reasonably cheap. Some shops were dedicated to just souvenirs and massages. It had also become more crowded, in contrast to the very quiet place I had visited almost 11 years ago. I think it is important for an economy to flourish, but I also felt that the character of the place had also been, to some extent, changed.

Since Bali is famous for its arts and crafts, especially the stone sculptures and the temples, we went and saw many temples and palaces that showcased these in intricate detail in stone and marble. We went to one such palace that had a series of identical stone sculptures along with walls and courtyards lined with gold. Balinese paintings are also world famous and they have created schools of painting. Here, various artists have gotten together to form cooperatives, where they study, exhibit and sell their paintings together. So we went to a one of these cooperatives, and I found one of these artists going through the painting process and I was fascinated.

Inspired by these visits, I created two artworks. For the first one I used different types of pencil colours, including metallic and water colour pencils. I hadn’t pencil coloured in along time, so it took me a few tries to get re-accustomed to the grip and texture. Then to highlight the intricate details on the sculpture, I went over a fineliner to outline the drawing. I intended to keep raw look for the second one, so I used water colours around the pencil lines. It was very tempting to outline the painting, but I resisted in order to maintain its aesthetic. Despite having not done art for six months, I was proud of the end result.

Manika Sareen
Year 11 IB Student