Roar of the dragon

31st August 2001 at 01:00
IN your leader ("Let dragons be", TES, August 3) you point out that "national culture is evolutionary" and suggest that Estyn, the Welsh inspectorate, leaves teachers and students to work with whatever cultural icons they are happiest with. My reading of Estyn's comments was that they were merely suggesting that teachers should broaden their outlook to take in lots of exciting things in Wales and if this process inevitably involves reassessment of past Welsh cultural activity, that can only be a very positive move.

As an exiled Welshman, it took for me the chance discovery in a Visual Culture of Wales project to get a real perspective on the development of Welsh art. Richard Wilson and Thomas Jones were just names from the Tate Gallery, even though Wilson had lived up the road from where I was born.

In Ireland, an artist such as Jack B Yeats is a national institution and Ireland has managed to present an exciting cultural mix of art, tradition, literature and contemporary music. Yeats, James Joyce, U2 and Dublin's energy have replaced harps and leprechauns as cultural icons. If Estyn's enlightened outlook helps Wales to enjoy its successes, showing the parallels between today's thriving music scenes and cultural activities of the past, let the dragon fly!

John Hopwood 32 Berry's Lane, Ratby, Leicester

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