During my visit to the Temple of Isis I was struck by the architectural sophistication and I thought I would delve deeper. Egyptian temple designs emphasized order, symmetry, monumentality, and combined geometric shapes with stylized organic motifs. Elements of temple design also alluded to the form of the earliest Egyptian buildings. It wasn’t until the New Kingdom that temples were built entirely of stone. Our knowledge of what preceded them or how the design came about is necessarily slim as their predecessors did not survive, since they were mostly constructed of mudbrick. It is probable that the layout was similar to earlier temples; there must have always been a special sacred area where the statue of the god resided. This was at a higher level than the rest of the area and the later design of slightly ascending floor level copies this. Since the early structures were mostly mudbrick, it is unlikely that the finer details which we will discuss here were present, hard to carve mudbrick. The influence of materials on architecture is worth notice. Where granite, which is worked with difficulty, is the material obtainable, architecture has invariably been severe and simple; where soft stone is obtainable, an abundance of ornamention makes its appearance. Where marble is abundant and good, refinement is to be met with, for no other building material exists in which very delicate mouldings or very slight or slender projections may be employed with the certainty that they will be effective.
When Lisa and I visited the Museum of Contempory Art, they had an entire wall of beautiful bark paintings without (to me) comprehensible labeling p, with my apologies to the artists I have decided to present them here. Bark painting is an Australian Aboriginal art form, involving painting on the interior of a strip of Eucalyptus bark. This is a continuing form of artistic expression in Arnhem Land and other regions in the Top End of Australia including parts of the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Traditionally, bark paintings were produced for instructional and ceremonial purposes and were transient objects. Today, they are keenly sought after by collectors and public arts institutions. Bark paintings are based on sacred designs that include abstract patterns and designs (such as cross-hatching in particular colours) that identify a clan, and also often contain elements of the Eternal Dreamtime. Sometimes the elements of a story are obvious—such as men or animals—but sometimes the elements are symbolic. Many of the myths seem only to be concerned with a particular animal or bird. However in symbolic meaning of great importance. For instance, the Sun is a woman, she creates life and she is often symbolized by water, fire, earth and red ochre, the Moon is male and controls the tides and seasonal cycles – he is often symbolized by snake, dog, frog and also water.