Travel Theme: Walls

In response to a theme suggested by Where’s my backpack?

I’m fascinated by walls. I like brick, stone, glass and wooden walls, and I especially like tiled walls. I like walls with wallpaper from the 1960s and 1970s, and from Victorian times. I like crumbling ancient temple walls and glittering Thai palace walls. I’ve taken lots of photos of walls, and I’ve begun to feature walls in my artwork inspired by these photos.

This one is of an ancient wall at the temple ruins of the old capital of Thailand, Ayutthaya (1350-1767). It’s a miniature, the size of a business card, and is part of a set of four I did of temple walls and windows in Thailand.


In November last year, I visited the Grand Palace in Bangkok for the first time in 11 years. This is a pastel painting I did depicting part of a tiled wall at a temple within the palace grounds.



The physicality of walls as man-made structures pervades most cultures—so much so, that when there are no walls, or when walls are knocked down or fall down, it is something to be remarked upon. Walls can keep enemies out, imprison those within, or conceal secrets. Walls are the key to privacy in the modern era, in which access to personal privacy has become paramount.

In pondering the significance of the wall across various cultures, I came up with these lists:

Geographical locations

Great Wall, China

Berlin Wall, Germany

City walls to keep out invaders, eg Chiang Mai, York

Wall St, US

Hadrian’s Wall, UK

Maginot Line, France

Western Wall (Wailing Wall), Israel

Wall of Remembrance, Australian War Memorial, Canberra


Virtual Walls

Facebook wall

The Virtual Wall Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The Virtual Wall of Fame to celebrate Manny’s music shop in New York, the “original music superstore”, 1935-2009.

Remembering Our Fallen: The Virtual Wall of Remembrance for US service people in all conflicts

Woolworths Australia’s Virtual Walls for Christmas

US-Mexico virtual-wall border


English usage of the word “wall”

Interestingly, many languages differentiate between exterior walls and interior walls, but English does not.

“If these walls could talk…”

“The walls have ears”


Wall eye

Wall of fire

Wall of water

To drive someone up the wall

To hit the wall

Wall of sorrow

Wall of shame

Wall of fame

Wall of honour

To put up (psychological) walls

Wall-to-wall, as in carpet, but also TV coverage

Off the wall

To bang one’s head against the wall

To have one’s back to the wall

To take something (such as a business) to the wall

Climbing the walls

Hole-in-the-wall bar

Sea wall



Wall hanging




8 thoughts on “Travel Theme: Walls

  1. Door and window treatments inspire such feelings for me. Their opulence or simplicity reveals so much about a country, place or the people who live behind them.

    • So true, Kay. I started looking at doors, windows and walls when I first went to live in Thailand in 1990. I guess they were so different to what I’d been used to.
      Remember the wallpapers of the 1970s? At home in Auckland, Mum redecorated when I was a teenager, and we had a “feature wall” of Egyptian-inspired wallpaper in the living room. It matched a round coffee table with a copper top engraved with Egyptian figures. She still has the coffee table and it’s still fabulous.

  2. What a great idea. I have an affinity for paintings of doors, for some reason. Drawn to art with a door in it–I’m taking it as a sign of opportunity and the excitement of the unknown:)

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