Simon Cleary is the author of three novels: The War Artist (2019), Closer to Stone (2012) and The Comfort of Figs (2008).

Photo: Patrick Hamilton

The War Artist:  Through the characters of a soldier, a nurse and a tattoo artist, The War Artist lays bare the devastating effects of war trauma in the context of the current conflict in Afghanistan, and explores paths to healing and recovery.

‘She will not tattoo images of real people. She will not tattoo weapons, or slogans of war. She will not tattoo angels’ wings.’

– The War Artist

“The Storytellers”: Currently at the Museum of Brisbane is “The Storytellers” Exhibition, featuring my piece “All Around Us Creatures Graze”, a meditation on history and memory centred on the last kangaroos of inner-city suburb Kangaroo Point. The piece has been animated by artist Todd Fuller into a sublimely beautiful 26-minute film that visitors to the exhibition can view. As the MOB puts it: “Step into the stories of our city. Uncover Brisbane’s histories, myths and tales as told by the storytellers of our city.” 

“Songs From The War Artist”: On 1 November 2019, musicans and vocalists from Dalby State High School and Topology performed Songs From The War Artist, fifteen original compositions inspired by The War Artist:

TEDxUQ Talk: “How Works of Fiction Become Words for Change”, TEDx UQ 2019: