Arts and Entertainment Damien Hirst,

Damien Hirst has today unveiled a new spot painting based on Disney character Mickey Mouse.

Josef Koudelka’s work in the Vatican pavilion

Vatican to spend millions on new churches... and on artists to furnish them

Cardinal says Holy See must reclaim role as patron of the arts

Art review: Subodh Gupta, What does the vessel contain, that the river does not, Hauser & Wirth, London

I recently returned from the Keralan coast, South India, where the storms and power-cuts at night made the sea and sky appear as black as each other, and the lights of the fishing boats floated on the horizon like a distant city. The monsoon months are coming.

Visitors view Gerhard Richter's 'Domplatz, Mailand (Cathedral Square, Milan)'

Gerhard Richter painting sells for $37m setting new record for a work by a living artist

A 1968 oil painting by German artist Gerhard Richter sold for $37 million (£24 million) at Sotheby's contemporary art auction - a new record for a work by a living artist.

Ahmed Mater, Golden Hour, Desert of Pharan series. Still courtesy of the artist

Art review: Sharjah Biennial, Re:emerge: Towards a New Cultural Cartography

In an age of confusing, sprawling art exhibitions, the current Sharjah Biennial stands out as an intelligent, tightly curated show featuring some hard-edged works that ever so slightly unsettle the delicate political and cultural ecosystems in the Gulf.

Tube map pioneer Harry Beck to get Blue Plaque

Tube map pioneer Harry Beck will today have his iconic creation officially commemorated on the 80th anniversary of its first public appearance.

An auctioneer receives bids for Gerhard Richter's work 'Abstraktes Bild' during the Sotheby's London Evening Sale of Contemporary Art held at Sotheby's, New Bond Street, London.

Sotheby's raises a 'healthy' £74 million at contemporary art auction

It was a "healthy" night of sales at Sotheby's yesterday evening as a contemporary art auction brought in more than £74 million - the auction house's second-highest total for a February sale of contemporary art in London.

The theft of Two Forms (Divided Circle) by Barbara Hepworth has been described as 'devastating'

Four artists vie to replace stolen Barbara Hepworth sculpture (but no metal allowed)

Two Forms (Divided Circle) was cut from its plinth by suspected scrap metal thieves last year

Reach for the skies

This winter's solstice on Friday marks the end of the world according to the Mayan calendar. But then, less you run for the bunkers, the end of one time, according to the Mayan and many ancient civilizations, merely presages the beginning of another in the endless recycle or birth and rebirth.

Mariko Mori: Reach for the skies

Mariko Mori draws on the spiritual traditions of her native Japan and the mass-produced materials of the West to give her work an ethereal quality. Her new show at the Royal Academy leaves Adrian Hamilton entranced

Influential modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer dies aged 104

He was a towering patriarch of modern architecture who shaped the look of contemporary Brazil

Anish Kapoor goes Gangnam Style for freedom - and Ai Weiwei

Turner prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor has made a tribute Psy "Gangnam Style" video in support of Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei.

“Head of an Old Man”

Picture of the Day: The great wall from China

Its simple name – "Head of an Old Man" – offers no hint of the scale or the mood of doom that so define this painting by Zeng Fanzhi, seen here standing in front of his epic work as his first solo British exhibition opens at the Gagosian Gallery in London, running until 19 January.

Christie's tops Sotheby's post-war contemporary sales total with $412 million

If the economic outlook for the art world is to be judged on the past 48 hours in New York then it is very healthy indeed.

The actor stars as Frank Gallagher in Shameless

Shameless was once a groundbreaking show but now seems to have lost its relevance

You could also argue that the riots of 2011 and the welfare cuts of 2012, make Shameless more necessary than ever. Creator Paul Abbott evidently disagrees

Culture clash: visitors at previous Frieze Art Fairs

If a Hirst breaks your budget, don't despair

London's Frieze week caters for the poorer collector, too, says Anny Shaw

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Oscar Quine takes a stroll along High Street Kensington yesterday in ‘his’ electric blue stilettos
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The temples of Angkor, where tourists have been stripping naked
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Terry Sue Patt pictured in 1995
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The coffin containing the remains of King Richard III is carried on a procession for interrment at Leicester Cathedral on 22 March 2015 in Leicester, England.
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The Queen and the letter sent to Charlie
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Two lesbians hold hands at a gay pride parade.
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<p>
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
</p>
<p>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
<p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
<p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
booksKathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?