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

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


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: