Atelier 88 Galicia

Sacred Monkey Forest Bali

Pete Nevin: Sacred Monkey Forest, Bali. Drawing the Natural World. 2013

Pete Nevin ‘Sacred Monkey Forest’ Drawing the Natural World: Atelier 88 Galicia. Some of these drawings (in pencil) from the Sacred Monkey Forest on Bali are from an A5 Black Moleskin sketchbook that my daughter gave me for my birthday in 2013, I filled the book with drawings and returned it as a birthday present for her the following year. The two coloured pieces, ‘Sacred Monkey Forest’ 1 and 2 are larger and on Arches paper, Acrylic/Gouache/Ink 42 x 59.4 cm

(The grey long-tailed Macaque) The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary within the village of Padangtegal, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. The Ubud Monkey Forest is an ecological reserve with around 600 monkeys in 12 hectares of forest with 186 different species of trees and Hindu temple complex in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

This is a great experience but also one where it is necessary to be mindful of the monkeys. They can torment visitors and take anything not secured. As I heard a visitor say ‘They’re animals them monkeys”.

Our Enchanted World

Enchantment is everywhere in everything, it is a boundless delight in which we are immersed but rarely see in the regimented world of rational demands. As sleepwalkers of capitalism on our treadmill of lassitude, one that is grown out of our daily struggle to obtain tangible things, often things we do not need. Yet it is the intangible that is the blossom of the soul, that can manifest the remarkable in the ordinary, making the invisible visible. It has been there all the time we just did not stop to see. By stopping we enter through the gates of a ‘garden’ as wondrous as any that was called Eden. Our world is the garden of the soul. Yet we are actively destroying this garden, our world physically and spiritually.

In your light, I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art. Rumi

The Ubud Monkey Forest describes its mission as conservation of the area within its boundaries according to the Hindu principle of Tri Hata Karana (“Three ways to reach spiritual and physical well-being”), which seeks to make people live harmoniously during their lives. The “three ways” to this goal under the Tri Hata Karana doctrine are harmonious relationships between humans and humans, between humans and the natural environment, and between humans and The Supreme God. Accordingly, the Monkey Forest has a philosophical goal of creating peace and harmony for visitors from all over the world. It also seeks to conserve rare plants and animals for use in Hindu rituals and to provide a natural laboratory for educational institutions, with a particular emphasis on research into the social interaction of the park’s monkeys with one another and their interaction with the park’s natural environment.

Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god, is one of the most celebrated and worshipped figures in Indian religion.

As is the case for many of India’s gods, several stories are told explaining Hanuman’s origin. In one interpretation Shiva and Parvati decided to transform themselves into monkeys and indulge in amorous games in the forest.  As a result Parvati becomes pregnant.  Shiva, conscious of his godly responsibilities and desire to conform to the laws of nature, directs the wind god Vayu to carry the offspring from Parvati’s womb to that of Anjana – an Apsara with the form of a monkey who has prayed to be granted a boy child. In another version of the story, Hanuman is simply the offspring of Anjana and Vayu.  In yet another version of the story, he is the son of the King and Queen of the Monkeys.

Address; Jl. Monkey Forest, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia

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