Story is a magazine for the creative and curious. Published three times a year by QPAC, Story fosters more (and more robust) conversation through art and culture. We believe that stories matter and there’s a critical role for cultural institutions like ours to take part in public debate, address the issues of our time and to amplify and continue the conversations artists start on our stages.
Each edition explores a particular idea or provocation and features writers, artists, thinkers and commentators from here and around the world. Hard copies of Story are available at QPAC and various locations across the city. If you’d like to join the mailing list, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org. Highlights of each edition are featured here.
Ideas of paradise, in one form or another, are woven through the fabric of much of our program. They lead us to questions about whether paradise is a location, a state of being, an idea, a period of time, a reward for a life well lived, or an absence of something or someone. Does it exist outside of or within you?
Our contributors consider paradise from its etymological origins – an Iranian word for garden or enclosed park – to its contemporary relevant in the global climate conversation.
Desire is a knotty, contradictory kind of a thing. It can be a catalytic force, a driver of addiction, a gateway to the forbidden. It holds the promise of something more, a way to alter reality. Whole industries are built around it and rely on our relentless commitment to consumption.
Our contributors navigate a multitude of desires and their associated objects whether they are places, people, treasures or achievements.
What or who do we have faith in at a time in history when democracy is failing to live up to its promise; when our environment is in grave danger; the media doesn’t fulfill its fourth estate role; organised religion is in decline; and we mistrust our politicians and systems? Faith as an idea didn’t just have malleable edges but was fluid to its core and often spoken about with an ironic tinge.
What is faith? Is it desirable, a kind of madness, an illusion?
Madness is real and imagined. Everything and nothing. Light and heavy. Fleeting and eternal. Individual and collective. Informed by QPAC’s program that influenced the theme of this edition, our contributors have taken different paths and arrived in different places in relation to madness.
Inside these pages, and beyond through The Creatory, we bring together ideas, people, musings and moments so that we may know ourselves better, see others and imagine possible futures.
This edition of Story pulls the idea of resistance apart and looked at it from multiple perspectives. To resist, in whatever form, implies action of one kind or another. To actively put up a fight against something, a political regime, dubious big business or a perceived social ill is taxing. Certainly in this moment and political environment, resistance is most frequently thought of in the context of large-scale public protest. But the more you ponder resistance, the more complex and slippery it gets.
Change or metamorphosis is the driving idea behind this edition of Story. It began as an observation of how many elements of the upcoming program started life in another art form – novels transformed to musical theatre and dance, television transformed to live performance, rock album to rock opera. In addition to changing form, many of the works address deeper issues of transformation.
In this edition of Story, one of the most enduring kinds of story looms large – fairy tale – inspired in large part by our presentation of Ballet Preljocaj’s Snow White.
As well as fairy tales, across our program over the second half of 2016 are productions that explore religion, spirituality, ritual, symbol and morality.
This edition of Story is inspired by QPAC's January to June 2016 program. Many of the contributors touch on the idea of place and what it means to belong somewhere.
Paradise / Paradise Lost – acclaimed author Jeanette Winterson explores it all in relation to our world today
Editor Rebecca Lamoin talks to British philosopher and author A.C. Grayling to discuss the concept of “good”
A throwback to Sydney in the 1970s and 90s, a paradisiac place and city with a kind of promise held for people chasing dreams.
QPAC’s Story team connected with four new friends and gained an insight to their slices of paradise
Penn Jillette shares with us his journey into magic, why magic and what magic means to him
Lillian Curthoys offers her perspective of paradise in suburban Brisbane through photography and poetry
Professor Judith McLean discusses Ursula K Le Guin’s tale of The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas and its relevance to paradise of today.
Quandamooka artist, Libby Harward, created a series of installations across various locations at QPAC during QPAC’s Clancestry – A Celebration of Country
American author and photographer Bill Hayes recounts chance encounters in the City that never sleeps
Psychiatrist Daniele Viliunas explores the theory that we know our greatest desire before we know who we are
Founder and CEO Luke Pearson, a Gamilaroi man, visited QPAC ahead of delivering The Mabo Oration in June 2019
Gain an insight to Seedlings – a program providing creative development opportunities to artists and creatives of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Island (ATSI) heritage
QPAC’s Scholar-in-Residence, Judith McLean, dives deep into the unruly, disruptive and often uncontainable elements of life: love and desire
Writer Christopher Currie takes us back in time and gives us an insight to the extent of Edward Rochester’s desire for Jane Eyre
Writer Yen-Rong Wong reimagines the desire and passion Juliet had for Romeo through a letter to Juliet’s nurse
The ironic high style: Van Badham explores the parallelism of desire, control and power between politics and contemporary relationships
QPAC Commissioned artist, Millie Elliot, to create a photographic essay on the killing of desire
We spend five minutes catching up with Laser Beak Man, the colourful superhero created by Australian Artist, Tim Sharp
Brisbane author and editor Bri Lee turns her gaze to our nostalgia for and faith in the heroes and idols of our past
Brisbane novelist and journalist Kristina Olsson suggests that in troubled times and when we are most challenged, humans often tune our ears to the voices of charismatic leaders
Restaurateur Margaret Nguyen shares her thoughts on the role of food in bringing us together
Faith can be seen as one of three essential elements of the art of persuasion. Malcolm Gillies AM discusses what it means in the modern context
The 2016 Australian Census reported on the changing distribution of Australians’ religious identity. Here’s what it told us
QPAC Scholar in Residence Professor Judith McLean posits that although our understanding of faith has morphed over centuries, what is constantly at its core is love
We spend 5 minutes with Vika and Linda Bull, sisters of soul, gospel, blues, country and the island music of their Tongan ancestry
We spend 5 minutes with John Cameron Mitchell, writer, director, actor and co-creator of the cult musical Hedwig
Brisbane artist, John Doherty, shares his collection of art works with Story and showcases how therapeutic the process of painting is for him
An artist, educator and activist, Noni Hazlehurst considers ideas of madness from her role in Mother and as an individual of our society today
From Saturday Night Live to winning an Academy Award, the effervescent Douglas McGrath shares his story as the writer of Beautiful
Guy Rundle presents a psychoanalytic examination of 20th century wars and its impact on mankind’s destructive drives
Wagnerian soprano Lisa Gasteen AO speaks about the delights and challenges of opera and the elite opera coaching school she founded
An inquiry into our understanding of madness and the diagnoses made throughout history, especially of women, a gender subjected to description by male experts and thinkers
Dallas John Baker on his play Ghosts of Leigh, and his reflections on Leigh Bowery as an influential figure for those who embark on the road from normal
Arnold Zable writes about the fragility of fate, the power of storytelling and the price of serendipity
Thomas Schumacher shares his thoughts on serendipity, the importance of creativity and the art behind Disney characters
Mystic Medusa, Dr Rachael Kohn, Maria Lewis share their take on the concept of luck in relation to their line of work
Paul Grabowsky AO discusses the allure of improvisation and serendipitous moments of jazz music
Teaching Artist Sandi Woo recalls the extraordinary story of 3 separated siblings reuniting at the We All Dance project
Jarjums Life Museum is a museum made by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Jarjums
Professor Judith McLean delves into the topic of the desire for opportunity and probabilities of favourable odds for the prepared mind
Just about every Australian has heard about the Dreamtime. But if I were to mention a songline, what would my luck be like in finding an Aussie who could put a hand up to say, “yep, I know what you mean”?
We spend 5 minutes with cast of American Idiot, musician and singer-songwriter Sarah McLeod
Kinky Boots director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell discusses the story that captured his imagination, and why he thinks art can change the world
Eadric Ayres considers the importance and magic of music in not just telling the story of our lives, but also in shaping who we are
Professor Jacqueline Rose explores the push and pull of resistance from politics across literature, feminism and psychoanalysis
Journalist Kathleen Noonan at Yeronga State High’s Yconnect project that measures the impact of arts and cultural participation for young people
We spend 5 minutes with songwriter, performer, author, activist and provocateur Cyndi Lauper
Craft has a long history as a tool for the expression of political dissent. Betsy Greer, Sarah Corbett and Rachel Burke share their stories of craft activism
Professor AC Grayling traverses multiple disciplines to explore the idea of change at this moment in our history
Deconstructing and reconstructing ballet shoes with Queensland Ballet’s Lisa Edwards
With more than 50 years as a professional artist and 50 million albums sold, Suzi Quatro continues to delight in creating music.
Is there a link between what we like to eat, and what types of music or live performance we prefer?
25 years ago the Mabo Case rewrote Australian law and recognised the existence of native title
Community and economic development scholar Carl Grodach weighs in on the conversation
Interview with award winning French choreographer and artistic director of Ballet Preljocaj, Angelin Preljocaj
Award winning poet Samuel Wagan Watson reflects on the South Brisbane of his childhood and his family’s history in the place where QPAC now stands
QPAC invited Peter Sellars to an intimate interview where our leading question was whether or not the audience is always right. This sparked a wide ranging conversation between Peter and interviewer Gordon Hamilton