Gillian Orr

Gillian Orr writes about the arts for The Independent.

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Fair trade: the idea of honesty boxes relies on people paying their way

Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit. Gillian Orr reports

Portfolio: Ken Hermann's striking images of Malik Ghat flower market in Calcutta

Flowers are a hugely important part of Indian culture, used in everything from temple rituals to festivals and parties – and Malik Ghat flower market is the largest of its kind in India.

The Cartier Foundation is opening its archives to the public for a new exhibition

It's known for its diamonds and pearls, but Cartier has also been making a name for itself in the world of contemporary art. On the eve of Fondation Cartier’s 30th anniversary, we delve into its rich archives
Popular: Chiltern Firehouse is the current celebrity haunt
Ed Sheeran hanging out with famous friend Taylor Swift

Ed Sheeran: Why did he top Radio 1Xtra's power list?

How did an ordinary-looking boy with a guitar from Suffolk conquer the music industry, let alone a black and urban power list? Gillian Orr tracks the rise of Ed Sheeran

Portfolio: Taylor Wessing prize-winner Spencer Murphy's portraits of birds of prey

When Spencer Murphy wanted to carry out a study that captured the art of motion, he immediately looked to birds of prey. "I've always been drawn to them," he says. "Not that I could name them in the sky. There's just something that gets me when I see them. When it came to doing motion studies, I couldn't think of much more beautiful a movement than a bird of prey in flight."

A change of pace: Charles Watson and Rebecca Taylor of Slow Club showcase their latest evolution

Slow Club: 'We feel like a different band'

Gillian Orr meets one of Latitude's top acts

Portfolio: Dougie Wallace's Stags, Hens & Bunnies: A Blackpool Story

It started with a naked man attached to a lamppost with cling film. On a day out in Blackpool, photographer Dougie Wallace stumbled upon the victim, who had been stitched up on his stag do, so he whipped out his camera.

Scene stealing: the bench made famous by ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ has been stolen

The Fault In Our Stars bench theft shocks fans of John Green's bestselling novel

Gillian Orr looks at the lucrative black market in movie memorabilia

Portfolio: Emma Phillips's extraordinary images of Western Australia's salt mines

On first viewing, it could be the setting of a sci-fi film or a landscape somewhere in the Antarctic. But these extraordinary images were actually taken at a salt mine in the far hotter climes of Western Australia.

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Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve