The Weekend Australian - Review - - Viewpoints -

THANKS to Se­bas­tian Smee for his con­tin­u­ing and gen­er­ally ex­cel­lent writ­ing on in­dige­nous art ex­hi­bi­tions, most re­cently on the Kitty Kan­tilla ex­hi­bi­tion at the Na­tional Gallery of Vic­to­ria, ( Re­view , May 26- 27). Smee ques­tions ‘‘ the ex­tent to which [ Kan­tilla’s] de­vel­op­ment may have been di­rected by art ad­vis­ers’’. As an arts ad­viser, I am familiar with his point. Arts ad­vis­ers, of­ten artists them­selves, must stand by the risk of in­flu­enc­ing the artist, for bet­ter or worse. No artist works in a vac­uum. In Kan­tilla’s case, how­ever, to know the wo­man was to know a rig­or­ous boss. Una Rey Adamstown, NSW LIKE Imre Salusin­szky ( Re­view , June 9- 10), I have fol­lowed Bob Dylan’s ca­reer since 1961, when he played har­mon­ica on al­bums by Carolyn Hester and Harry Be­la­fonte. Un­like Imre, I have seen him per­form only once, in Perth in 1966, and took great de­light in watch­ing the lo­cal purists walk out just af­ter in­ter­mis­sion when he plugged in. This hap­pened ev­ery­where on that tour and was an in­di­ca­tion that, as with Miles Davis and Joni Mitchell, you have to keep up and open up or deny your­self a lot of en­joy­ment. There are a few dud al­bums and there are ab­so­lute gems. One of my favourite songs is rarely men­tioned: Clothes­line Saga , from The Base­ment Tapes . The con­trast with It’s Al­right Ma, for ex­am­ple, is an in­di­ca­tion of the man’s breadth of tal­ent. Murray Jen­nings Como, West­ern Aus­tralia IMRE Salusin­szky’s ref­er­ence to Green­wich Vil­lage, the likes of the Four Kins­men and Pete Seeger was in­ter­est­ing but . . . as the Four Kins­men are fine Aus­tralian per­form­ers they prob­a­bly were not lurk­ing in the vil­lage to greet Bob or be sneered at by Mr Seeger. David Hawkes Mt Law­ley, West­ern Aus­tralia DAVID Stratton’s judg­ment ( Re­view , June 2- 3) on the monks who have taken a vow of si­lence, por­trayed in the doc­u­men­tary Into Great Si­lence — ‘‘ it’s hard to es­cape the im­pres­sion that th­ese are wasted lives’’ — is a bit of a backhander. As a keen med­i­ta­tor, I know there are at least a hun­dred things I do in a day that are prob­a­bly a waste of time but med­i­ta­tion is cer­tainly not one of them. Pa­tri­cia Water­worth Mooloolaba, Queens­land SO, Ge­ordie Wil­liamson, af­ter read­ing your re­view ( Re­view , June 9- 10) I am clear on the plot of Se­bas­tian Faulks’s novel En­gleby , but is it a good book? Should I spend my pre­cious money buy­ing it? Has Faulks’s ap­par­ent com­plete change of style paid off? A plot sum­mary is use­ful, but surely more anal­y­sis is re­quired for your level of read­er­ship? Jenny Simp­son Mar­garet River, West­ern Aus­tralia BE­FORE pen­ning, ‘‘ No un­pleas­ant stuff down at Club Parky’’ ( Re­view , June 9- 10), Ian Cuth­bert­son should have re­called Michael Parkin­son’s less- than- sub­tle in­ter­ro­ga­tion of Meg Ryan some years ago. It was cer­tainly out of the or­di­nary. In­deed, Richard Car­leton would have ad­mired Parky’s style that day. David Crom­melin North Strath­field, NSW

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