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 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.

A moment in time by Nell Schofield

Four people, twelve questions

Beaconsfield terrace by Lillian Curthoys

Short thoughts by Simon Groth

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The Power of Three

My Dearest Jane

Dearest Nurse

The Killing Desire

Short Thoughts

Desperation & the American Dream

Optimistic Yellow

Hopelessly Devoted

Souped Up


A Matter of Fact

In the Realm of the Gods

Outside Art by John Doherty

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A Beautiful Thing with Douglas McGrath

From Saturday Night Live to winning an Academy Award, the effervescent Douglas McGrath shares his story as the writer of Beautiful.

Lethal Magical Thinking by Guy Rundle

A psychoanalytic examination of wars and our destructive drives by Guy Rundle across the 20th century

Mad, Bad & Sad

Lisa Appignanesi’s inquiry into our understanding of madness and the diagnoses made throughout history, especially of women, a gender subjected to description by

The Road from Normal by Dallas John Baker

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.

Locus of Luck explored with Mystic Medusa, Dr Rachael Kohn and Maria Lewis

Mystic Medusa, Dr Rachael Kohn, Maria Lewis share their take on the concept of luck in relation to their line of work


Lost & Found

Teaching Artist Sandi Woo recalls the extraordinary story of 3 separated siblings reuniting at the We All Dance project


The Three Mathematicians of Serendip

An academic allegory by Clemency Montelle about serendipity in the mathematical sciences


Beneath the Concrete by Fred Leone

Songlines and Dreamtime: Stories that Survived the Test of Time