The contributions of artists will be around for centuries

Ken Done is spot on when he observes that art represents the country’s true soul (“Ken Done’s true colours: ‘Art is about the country’s soul”’, April 2). No matter how many football stadiums come and go, it’s the true reflection of our lives. This week’s sporting match scores will not mean much in 100 years time, but how an artist sees and reflects on daily life will reverberate for centuries to come. It’s why artistic institutions must be cared for and remain a magnetic reason to explore and enjoy a country’s history. The number of visitors to such a collection like the Louvre in Paris, indicate how much nourishment related to life and living it brings. As an example, the success of the touring Monet, Cezanne, and Picasso blockbuster gallery exhibitions indicate the passionate hunger there is for the meaning of life. This is why we must insist the buildings that house these treasures, be recognised as essential to our society. Football stadiums stand empty for much of the week, while a vibrant art gallery sits open, every day to welcome and enrich one’s soul whenever required.
Greg Vale, Kiama

Parliament’s pest

I trust Premier Chris Minns and his new ministers will keep a copy easy to hand of the Columbia University study “Never apologise, never explain” cited by Mark Latham (“Latham refuses to back down over tweet”, April 2). It could come in useful to swat away one particular serial pest in the parliamentary bear pit the next time he jumps up on his hind legs to growl at them about public accountability. Paul McShane, Burradoo

Lauding Lent

As Lent went through its climactic final week, Ann Rennie made some laudable and familiar observations (“Faith: Let’s make Lent about what we do, not what we don’t”, April 2). A time of both giving up and taking on, self-examination and awareness of others, Lent has its inward and outward aspects. So Christians who observe Lent may live more simply and frugally in order to focus more on spiritual matters and on responding to the needs of others. We may let go of grumbling and criticising, and instead offer kind words and encouragement to others. We may give up and hour or two of recreation to visit or contact someone who is sick or struggling with life. We may write, act or join a movement to end violence or discrimination. In this way the Christian Lent is very like the Islamic Ramadan, best known for its iconic daylight fast, but also a month to make positive impact in the world and speak up against injustice. Reverend Meredith Williams, Northmead

Unsuccessful success

Peter Dutton claims success in uniting a potentially divided party following the 2022 election defeat (“Without a new direction, Peter Dutton will be swept away”, April 2). Holding the Liberal Party together doesn’t sound like much of a vision for the country. David Rush, Lawson


Kerri Sackville wrote a poignant plea on the human condition (“I spent hours on dating apps because I didn’t know how to be alone”, April 2). Loneliness should not be conflated with being alone. We live our lives through relationships, but innately, being confident with yourself is a function of your social contract. The holy rollers would describe the human body as your personal vehicle. Drive it. Does loneliness join together those whom society separates? No. We all need to connect, but wrong-way relationships often need re-wiring. Mike Fogarty, Weston (ACT)

Unborn advice

There has been a plethora of books and articles written on the subject of parenting (“The art of ‘gentle parenting’ and raising kids to be helpless”, April 2). I often wonder just how useful all that advice has been. Surely providing an emotionally healthy home is the most important factor in raising responsible, resilient children. My advice to unborn children is to choose their parents wisely and to avoid the nervous Nellies. Graham Lum, North Rocks

Maligned Macquarie

As a retired history head teacher, author of three books on Australian history plus an unpublished thesis on Governor Macquarie I feel the need to reply to your correspondent’s letter calling for the removal of Governor Macquarie’s statue (Letters, April 4). She and others are ignoring his positive achievements. I am dismayed by those who want Australians to be ashamed of their own past, particularly our nineteenth century history. It was learning about the explorers, the settlers, the gold diggers which generated my lifelong love of Australian history. What’s more, that learning was done with an open mind and covered the good, the bad and the ugly.

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