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Kertha Gosa Ceiling vs. “Dreaming” paintings by Aborigines of Australia Essay


Kertha Gosa Ceiling and “Dreaming” paintings by Aborigines of Australia are both spiritual world artworks. Both have come a long way and have advanced with the advancing technology. Many countries of world have embraced such artworks with some neglecting the importance of such artworks.

Even though many see art as an economic activity to make money, both artworks tend to focus much on passing important information to a target group. Many religious artworks have taken the form of sculpture and not paintings. Many may ask why the dreaming and the Kertha ceiling have used painting and not sculpturing. This paper will discuss the artworks, their contexts and their similarities giving insight also to their differences, as well as their significance.

“Dreaming” paintings by Aborigines of Australia

Over a long period, Aborigine’s paintings have advanced to the point of intertwining with the public dissertation, with a great recognition in Australia and the rest of the world. The Aboriginal people use this art represent them and their culture. The aspect and the concept of dreaming come from the aborigine’s ancestors and the rainbow serpent that went through the land leaving marks and topographical features (Mayer 145).

They set the moral and social laws to guide the people into a significant order of being. To the aborigines dreaming goes beyond the literal meaning and describes a balance between the elements of nature, spirit and morals. They believe that a person’s dreaming depends on the point of his/her birth labor pains reception, for that is the place where one receives the ancestral spirits.

Stylistic characteristics of the “Dreaming” paintings

The aborigine’s paintings have evolved greatly with its history changing from time to time. All over visual and oral expressions have always advanced among the aboriginal societies.

Before invasion, the people possessed over two hundred divergent languages. Today an approximate of fifty languages exists with each possessing a range of 1-2000 speakers. This is because of the great emphasis on multilingualism and use of visual and oral values.

The paintings are traditionally symbolic. They include conventional designs as well as symbols which when painted on a person or an object brings a religious importance to them.

Some symbols combine to give a more complex story. Other painting put emphasis to the connection of the aboriginal people to their land to demonstrate their obligation to the land (Mayer 165). They used stone to paint on their artworks, which show durability, and a long living artwork.

The methods of painting range from etching, screen-printing, relief printing, calligraphy, to lithography. The artwork utilizes other different materials and techniques of painting such as ochre with a compacted end of a stick to produce high quality dots. Ochres produce a thick and a warm color for use in modern artwork. Most of the paints used are result from pounding the ochres and mixing with a fluid, which can be blood, to make it thick.

Kertha Gosa Ceiling

Kertha Gosa pavilion, a place of justice discussions with the king, existed from the 18th century. The pavilion is a Balinese work located within the Klungkung Palace. The pavilion utilized a special architecture with several divisions. Specifically, the pavilion possessed both ritual and functional purpose.

Dewa Agung, depicting the story of Bhima Swarga, later repainted the pavilion, to show how Bhima went to hell, seeing how people suffered their inequities, to rescue his father’s soul for heavens. In his mission, Bhima was in the company of two of his reliable servants. This represents the theme of justice in the pavilion.

Stylistic characteristics of Kertha Gosa Ceiling

The technique used to smear the pavilion’s ceiling portrays iconography. Many artists in their works have adopted this style today. The characters used in the Bhima Swarga painting are majorly symbolic, and each carries a different message. These characters are either Kasar or Halus (Pucci 212).

Both are different. Halus characters on one-side posses the aspects of softness and fine quality. On the other hand, Kasar involves those that are makeshift and bumpy. The artwork contains demons and devils, which are rough and coarse textured. This then portrays the kasar characteristic of the artwork.

Bhima and his brother paintings bring out the Halus characteristics since their hand are smooth and refined as well as their fragile fingers. It is also important to note that their eyes and the heads have a Kasar effect since they are at an angle. The thumb of Bhima Swarga has a long nail representing his armaments.

Social hierarchy is another aspect that the painting artwork portrays. The ways Bhima and his bother stand, their position, as well as their body sizes are very symbolic. In his story, Bhima Swarga is the “god” or the top one. In the painting, Bhima placed above his brothers showing his supremacy (Pucci 205).

His servants stand next to him and the sons slightly below their father. It painted in way that depicts the separation of hell and the heavens. This is by use of rows separating each other. At central position of the artwork there is a lotus bordered by doves, which in turn represent a future fate.

Similarities of the two Artworks

Both artworks utilize the painting style, which is a creative way to express an idea or feeling. It represents the aesthetic effect, which make the artwork more influential.

Over many years, painted artworks have received great recognition and thus have grown greatly over the world. Both artworks portray a complex message by combining ideas. They both have an outside and an inward meaning, which are outright and hidden respectively.

Difference between the two Artworks

The “Dreaming” paintings by Aborigines artwork has advanced to include plays and movies, which the Kertha Gosa Ceiling remains as a painted artwork. Dreaming has advanced greatly since it provides for innovations and due to the advance in technology. The dreaming painting does not contain the society hierarchy aspect unlike the Kertha Gosa ceiling.


Artwork has gained recognition over the whole in the past three centuries. Painting has gained a major recognition as method of coming up with a piece of artwork. Religious settings have also advanced with the increase in use of painted works to pass or portray a religious message.

However, some people over the world have not yet embraced such artworks. Kertha Gosa Ceiling and. “Dreaming” paintings by Aborigines artwork are part of these religious artworks, which have challenged the art sector greatly. Both artworks are religious and focus a particular people. The use of painting allows use of aesthetic aspects, which tends to communicate on its own. All the nations should embrace to use such artwork in order to promote various religions more importantly than to earn money.

Works Cited

Mayer, Ralph. The Artist’s Handbook of Materials and Techniques. New York: Viking, 1970. Print.

Pucci, Idanna. Bhima Swarga: The Balinese Journey of the Soul. Boston: Little Brown, 1992. Print.

This Essay on Kertha Gosa Ceiling vs. “Dreaming” paintings by Aborigines of Australia was written and submitted by user Trystan Parsons to help you with your own studies. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.

Trystan Parsons studied at Johns Hopkins University, USA, with average GPA 3.4 out of 4.0.

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Parsons, T. (2019, April 3). Kertha Gosa Ceiling vs. "Dreaming" paintings by Aborigines of Australia [Blog post]. Retrieved from

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Parsons, Trystan. "Kertha Gosa Ceiling vs. "Dreaming" paintings by Aborigines of Australia." IvyPanda, 3 Apr. 2019,

1. Trystan Parsons. "Kertha Gosa Ceiling vs. "Dreaming" paintings by Aborigines of Australia." IvyPanda (blog), April 3, 2019.


Parsons, Trystan. "Kertha Gosa Ceiling vs. "Dreaming" paintings by Aborigines of Australia." IvyPanda (blog), April 3, 2019.


Parsons, Trystan. 2019. "Kertha Gosa Ceiling vs. "Dreaming" paintings by Aborigines of Australia." IvyPanda (blog), April 3, 2019.


Parsons, T. (2019) 'Kertha Gosa Ceiling vs. "Dreaming" paintings by Aborigines of Australia'. IvyPanda, 3 April.

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