Art debate loses the plot

I read with interest John Sargeant's flowery rhetoric about modern art ''lifting our hearts and aspirations'' (Art is for all the people, TDN Nov 6).

I'm afraid we've lost the plot on this topic. Nobody is going to win the argument whether Len Lye was an important contemporary artist or not.

Let's just say that the Archives of the Film Department of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City preferred his work to be transferred out of the country for the ''benefit of the people of New Zealand''.

The real question is how did a free art collection suddenly become so expensive? Whereas John still believes that there is a money tree out there, most people on fixed incomes and struggling families realise that the ''free entry'' is being paid for out of their household budget whether they choose to visit it or not.

Not only that, but the money is being mainly spent on salaries and building upkeep. This benefits people whose salaries are tied to asset value and the number of staff under their control.

The $10 million in donations could have gone to creating an outdoor Len Lye artist trail passing through all of the district's towns to complement the district's strengths in its natural amenities in the same way that the wind wand and Te Rewa Rewa bridge enhance the coastal walkway experience.

Imagine what a Len Lye video display at the Okato public toilets could do for visitor numbers to that town, for example. What do you think? Visit Lye to have your say.


New Plymouth

Taranaki Daily News