Gillian Orr

Gillian Orr writes about the arts for The Independent.

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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.

All by myself: loneliness is not just an affliction of the old - young, middle-aged and married people can be affected

Britain has been voted the loneliness capital of Europe - so how did we become so isolated?

Not only can loneliness lead to mental-health issues but studies proved that it can also be more dangerous than obesity and smoking
Hedonistic hideout: Shangri-La is the destination for serious partygoers once the final bow has been taken on the Pyramid Stage

Glastonbury 2014: Shangri-La is part art installation, part rave, and totally hedonistic

Lady Gaga has played there, and Mick Jagger has partied there. Its creator Debs Armstrong tells Gillian Orr how the neon-lit pleasuredomes come into being - and what she hates about the festival-goers who come to get high
The last picture show: Beatty, Nevada had a population of just over 1,000 people in 2010

Portfolio: Pamela Littky's book Vacancy provides a snapshot of the 'Gateway to Death Valley'

Death Valley, in California's Mojave Desert, holds the record for the highest temperature ever measured: 56.7C, back in 1913.

Teenage kicks: a scene from 'The Fault in Our Stars', the latest Young Adult publishing success story

Is popular teen fiction like The Fault in our Stars wasted on young readers?

The Fault in our Stars is the bestselling book of the year so far, proving that Young Adult fiction is also read by those old enough to know better

Portfolio: Sergei Produkin-Gorsky provides a record of life before fall of Romanov dynasty

As ruler of the largest single territory in the world at the time, it was impossible for Tsar Nicholas II to travel the extent of Russia, which at the turn of the 20th century extended from Finland to Turkestan, and from Poland to Siberia.

Blyton shock: Biddy Baxter (pictured centre with her fellow Blue Peter presenters) was heartbroken to receive two identical letters from her idol

Have you ever written fan mail to a favourite author? From Enid Blyton to JD Salinger, these readers were surprised by the response...

Two recent stories have shed light on the way in which fan letters are handled

Portfolio: Alessandro Gandolfi's images of teenage girls who ride the waves along Gaza's 25 miles of Mediterranean coastline

Among the growing band of surfers who ride the waves along Gaza's 25 miles of Mediterranean coastline, you'll find a rather curious sight: a small group of teenage girls on boards.

A stripper (not 'Tony') entertains a hen do in London
A bite of the action: A peddler sells snacks at one of the entrances to the Santa Marta ‘favela’ (shantytown) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Away from fast food fare of World Cup stadiums, Brazilian cuisine is delicious and diverse

From feijoada to caprinhas, Gillian Orr offers up a taste of the nation
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Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little