Rob Sharp

Rob Sharp is a freelance journalist specialising in arts and culture. He was on staff at The Independent from July 2007 to December 2011, first as a features writer, and then as the paper’s arts correspondent. He has written for a wide range of newspapers and magazines. For more information visit his website, www.robsharp.com or email him at rs@robsharp.com.

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The Wallingers that were just too wacky – even for him

New book reveals the avant-garde artist's works that failed to get off drawing board

Create a work of art that's worth £60,000? There's nothing to it

With its black square surrounding a blank canvas, the British minimalist Bob Law's 1969 work Nothing To Be Afraid Of V, expected to sell this month for £60,000, might seem the ultimate case of artistic daylight robbery. Not according to some art critics, who leapt to Law's defence yesterday.

How the amateur Attenboroughs' hobby became a national treasure

Museum to preserve collection of a couple obsessed with world wildlife

Young at art? Not any more, say galleries as school visits drop

Britain's leading galleries are losing hundreds of thousands of child visitors every year, raising concerns about the artistic education of the nation's children.

Where have all the children gone, Britain's galleries wonder

The decline is exacerbated by the fact that four out of 10 secondary schools have cut key artistic subjects

The battle to be the bestselling hardback this Christmas begins

As hundreds of titles hit the shops tomorrow, publishers will be hoping 2011 has a happy ending. Rob Sharp reports

Will Christmas come early for the book trade?

As hundreds of titles hit the shops tomorrow, publishers hope for a happy ending to 2011

Opera House sells off 2,000 costumes

London's Royal Opera House (ROH) is attracting worldwide interest ahead of a fundraising sale of 2,000 costumes this weekend.

From Beatle to ballet: Sir Paul's latest score

Sir Paul McCartney might just have unveiled his first ever ballet score in New York – but yesterday he revealed an embarrassing lack of knowledge about the art form.

Adults read kids' books to escape modern life

From commuters absorbed by the Harry Potter books to the fantasy appeal of JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit, the mystery of why some grown-ups like reading children's books may finally be solved – they are hacked off with modern life.

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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there