The Diary: Damien Hirst; Fi Glover; Cindy Sherman; Queer Up North; Espresso Book Machine

Damien Hirst's been hard at work these days, apparently, not pickling things or "delegating" work to his assistants but staging a dramatic return to good old-fashioned painting.

Damien Hirst is back on the paint gang

Damien Hirst's been hard at work these days, apparently, not pickling things or "delegating" work to his assistants but staging a dramatic return to good old-fashioned painting. A source has revealed that for the past year (and in spite of the distraction of a multi-million pound Sotheby's auction last autumn) he has been creating up to 10 massive, gold-framed triptychs in the style of Francis Bacon (whom Hirst has collected in the past), and which the White Cube gallery's Jay Jopling is discreetly showing to prospective collectors. The source, who claimed to have seen the large-scale paintings, said some were painted in monotones with others depicting three-dimension style interiors, with just a few skulls and dots scattered here and there. Last year, Hirst told 'The Independent' he would consider lowering the price of his work to meet the recession, but it does not appear to be the case in this instance – each painting is said to be selling for a rather exclusive price tag of £7m.

Read and feed

Fi Glover, the Radio 4 presenter and judging chair for this year's Orange Prize for fiction, told me the task – which involved reading an inordinate number of books on the long list, and then repeating some of them for the short list – was perfectly timed to coincide with the birth of her daughter, Honor, which meant she could read and "feed" at the same time. "Whenever I sat down to do it, I'd just pick up a book." Nonetheless, she called it a "once in a lifetime" experience that verged on the "sado-masochistic".

Behind the Times

Cindy Sherman, recently in the capital to unveil her latest show at the Sprüth Magers gallery in Green Park, was apparently left smarting at a write-up of the exhibition by the 'Sunday Times' art critic, Waldemar Januszczak. Her disapproval came from a comment wherein he accused Sherman of having a "big butt" in her youth. Sherman, always pin-thin, was baffled by his description of her derrière. One source said Januszczak may have confused a decade-old encounter with the artist, Nan Goldin, with Sherman.

New wave opera

We thought opera was getting down with the kids when the Royal Opera House offered 'The Sun' newspaper readers tickets for an opening night performance for £7.50. Well, now it's got just plain wacky, with Queer Up North proposing to an underwater opera created by Juliana Sapper, the American soprano, in Manchester's retro Victoria Baths. The performance in the magnificent listed building, nicknamed the Taj Mahal of swimming, is called 'You Who Will Emerge from the Flood', and will come complete with transforming lights and a 50-strong Manchester Water Chorus, on 17 May.

Espresso's a bit latté

The Espresso Book Machine is supposed to be a super-duper literary creation that whisks up a book on demand in the bat of an eye, and it is apparently taking America by storm. But its arrival in Britain appears to have got off to a rather tardy start. A press launch for the Espresso was cancelled last week because the actual machine had been slow in arriving on these shores. It was set to be installed at Blackwell on London's Charing Cross Road, on Thursday afternoon.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Judd Apatow’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach is ideal for comedies about stoners and slackers slouching towards adulthood
filmWith comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Arts and Entertainment
booksForget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Off set: Bab El Hara
tvTV series are being filmed outside the country, but the influence of the regime is still being felt
Arts and Entertainment
Red Bastard: Where self-realisation is delivered through monstrous clowning and audience interaction
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rhino Doodle by Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)

TV
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film

film
Arts and Entertainment
Comedian 'Weird Al' Yankovic

Is the comedy album making a comeback?

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in the first-look Fifty Shades of Grey movie still

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, centre, are up for Best Female TV Comic for their presenting quips on The Great British Bake Off

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in the TV adaptation of 'Fargo'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules

film
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'

film
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>

film
Arts and Entertainment

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book

books
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
    Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
    Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

    Standing my ground

    If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

    Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

    The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
    The man who dared to go on holiday

    The man who dared to go on holiday

    New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

    The Guest List 2014

    Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
    Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

    Edinburgh Fringe 2014

    The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried