Led by Gary Warner

Spending time alone can be fruitful, creative and deeply absorbing, or alternatively considered unnatural, self-indulgent and anti-social. Being alone has been viewed differently throughout history. We are highly social and highly independent beings – the two tendencies often fighting for dominance within us. Today, more people are living alone than during any other period. Even if we don’t live alone, we may often feel alone.

This talk explores the idea of being alone. Looking at the work and writings of American authors Bill Porter and Gary Snyder, Chinese poet-recluse Han Shan, British writer Isabelle Colgate, 19th century Philosopher Henry David Thoreau and Japanese poets Santoka Taneda and Kenji Miyazawa, we examine what happens to our psyches when we are alone, how best we can spend time alone and the importance of cultivating solitude as opposed to loneliness.

Gary Warner has worked in cultural production for over 35 years. He is an artist, digital media maker, dharma wanderer, photographer, field recordist, occasional tanka poet and custodian of Origma Reserve, 25 hectares of off-grid Sydney sandstone bushland.