Letter: Virtual realist who should see himself

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Sir: What Luddite nonsense for Brian Appleyard to suggest ('Look children, we're doing Art', 8 October) that the virtual reality of new technologies in representing the work of great artists could undermine our appreciation of the real thing.

As a teacher of art and design, I use the National Gallery CD-rom disc with my pupils to complement the visits we have always made. We are also able instantly to access a whole range of information on techniques and historical facts about the artists and the work they produced.

To follow Mr Appleyard's rationale to its logical conclusion, the virtual reality of the printed page and reproduced prints of the real thing could equally be seen as subversive imitations of a truer appreciation. Is he suggesting that we are all to be fooled by such representations, or that, since the introduction of mass printing, our knowledge of the world and works of others is reduced?

Maybe, within this philosophical dead end, he should reconsider his chosen profession: after all, don't all journalists merely represent their very personal virtual reality?

Yours sincerely,


Head of Art

Heathside School



10 October