Pelicans don't wear T-shirts
Reading Richard Newby's denunciation (Forum, Peninsula News, January 9) of the Woy Woy Oval mural certainly took me by surprise.
While I respect Mr Newby's passion for his subject, he is of course overlooking many art historical examples of non-realist renderings in both painting and sculpture.
Would our correspondent damn Vincent van Gogh for painting swirls in the night sky rather than an astronomically precise rendering the stars?
Is Alberto Giacometti to be excoriated for elongating his sculptural figures?
Indeed, should Australia's own great indigenous painters be ridiculed for painting desert landscapes according to generations-old traditions of depicting the landscape in two dimensions?
Claiming that the Woy Woy Pelican, the work of photo muralist Daniel Dancer, fails because it doesn't render its subject literally is of course absurd.
If one wants to see what a real pelican looks like, one merely needs to visit the nearby wharf and if, at some future time we need to refer back to see what pelicans looked like, then there is a wealth of photographic and scientific illustration to remind us.
The Woy Woy mural is a work of art that strives not to record objective reality, but to use the bird as an emblem of the local environment, fittingly created as an image brought to life with help of hundreds of local school kids who posed for photos dressed in black and white.
Like the great artists, Daniel Dancer has looked beyond the merely literal for something deeper, and as lovers of art and community I'm sure we can embrace such a project with the good will it deserves.
Art is not there to merely record but to inspire through an interpretation.
I would also suggest that Mr Newby avoid walking 200 metres to the north where he would encounter the logo of Ye Old Woy Woy Pub's Pelicans Restaurant that not only depicts the bird wearing a red T-shirt, but it's also holding a beer.
Clearly the artist responsible has taken artistic liberties with the rendering - pelicans don't wear T-shirts.
Email, 15 Jan 2016
Andrew Frost, Pearl Beach