Voices Call of the wild: An international conference in London next month will address elephant poaching

This year's charity appeal has raised more than £300,000 for our partner charity, Space for Giants, exceeding last year's total of around £250,000. We are within sight of breaking the record for a charity appeal by this newspaper – £356,000. So more donations would be appreciated.

VISUAL ARTS: EXIT POLL - Who will win the Turner Prize?


Anthony Van Dyck, meet Tracey Emin. You've got more in common than you might think

Today, as I was walking past the Royal Academy in Piccadilly thinking about Austin Powers and Tracey Emin, I remembered what John Tusa's new idea was about how critics should carry on: we must not praise something simply because it succeeds on its own terms or because we know a lot about it. Or because we think, Ha ha, I get it! For what are we, if we are critics, if not critical? Plus, how can anyone understand what we're saying if we don't call a spade a spade but instead take our hats off to relativism and show our bottoms to excellence? Or worse, hide behind a mask of irony? In an age of uncertainty, how about some certainty!

Punters fleeced in degree sale

EVERYTHING FOR sale was in the sheep currency. Not everyone got the hang of this at first, which was a bit of a problem for the organiser Gavin Turk, one of the better known Young British Artists.

Visual Arts: 'So near, so far away, so vulnerable, so human, so long'

Temple of Diana Blue Gallery, London Chatto pounds 25

No sensations in this art collection

ADMITTEDLY, DAMIEN Hirst's dissected cows, or Tracey Emin's accounts of her botched abortion might be a little much for the public rooms of Downing Street.

Comment: It's art, but is it worth it?

Money shapes people's attitudes to art, and it reminds us what to look at, whom to respect

War In The Balkans: Britpack draw on children's war effort

SOME MAY be more renowned for pickling sheep or making lists of everyone they have slept with, but a group of Britain's most talented artists have now turned to more child-friendly work.

Video wipes out painting as a way of winning Turner Prize

THE VIDEO installation was declared the artists' tool of the hour by the Turner Prize jury yesterday when it revealed the four nominees for this year's prize, three of whom use videos to show their work.

The Will Self interview: Tracey Emin, A slave to truth

Tracey Emin is famous - notorious even - for her unflinching honesty in art and in life. In their first two encounters, she publicly and humiliatingly upbraided Will Self. Come the third round, he'd learnt his lesson...

Art: The Independent Collector

John Windsor's Guide to Collecting Contemporary Art. This Week: Sarah Staton

event Turner prize announcement

It's Turner Prize time again and the four artists nibbling their nails in the wings, as fashion designer and gallery owner Agnes B prepares to hand over the pounds 20,000, are Cathy de Monchaux, Tacita Dean, Sam Taylor- Wood and, the hot favourite, Chris Ofili (left). In the absence of a K Foundation offering a parallel prize to the "worst artist", or the chance of a tired and emotional Tracey Emin taking part in the aftershow discussion, there's been an attempt to whip up controversy around the fact that Taylor- Wood has made videos for jury member Neil Tennant in the past. It's all grist to the publicity mill and, once the winner has been announced in co-sponsor Channel 4's live programme on Tuesday (8-9pm), punters can still see all the shortlisted artists' work at the Tate Gallery, London SW1 until 10 Jan and choose their own favourite.

Make us gawp and stretch our eyes

Since prizes can't get it right, they might at least recognise their obligation to provide entertainment

Edinburgh Festival: The simple bare necessities

A Family Outing; Krapp's Last Tape

Arts: Sober, but still sensational

She's been branded an exhibitionist and a drunkard, but Tracey Emin's early paintings reveal a more solemn nature. Michael Glover stumbled across the evidence

Preview: explore islington festival

Last year's Islington International Festival bagged a Glastonbury- tastic 120,000 visitors. Another strong line-up this year should accommodate at least as many revellers over the next two weeks. Topping the North London bill are Michael Nyman (right) who will be performing the world premiere of his latest solo piano work in the Highbury Fields' Spiegel Tent (17 Jun). Another global debut is Jah Wobble Brings the Studio to the Stage (Fri 26). Clare Martin and Ian Shaw do their thing next week (25 Jun), while the Frenetic Poetics count John Cooper Clarke and Salena Saliva among their wordy number for a gathering on 22 Jun. Other highlights include a Roger McGough reading at the Islington Museum and a biopic from artist Tracey Emin at the Screen on the Green. Complementing the event, in nearby Stoke Newington, is the Midsummer Festival (box office 0181- 356 5358), a celebration of "cutting- edge work of Hackney-based artists and performers". Sick of the World Cup yet? Well, don't say we didn't offer an alternative...
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