Welcome and acknowledgement

In September 2009 the Centre for Socio-Analysis, based in Melbourne, sponsored a six day Conference with a primary task: “To Explore the Heart of Dreaming”. The exploration used the Social Dreaming methodology pioneered by Gordon Lawrence and developed in Australia since 1989 (see, for example, Lawrence, 1991, 1997 and 2003). The Conference took place in the dry riverbed of the Sandover River at Soapy Bore, Utopia, Northern Territory. Soapy Bore is approximately 350 km North East of Alice Springs, and is the home of an Alyawarre Aboriginal Australian community of about 100 people. Twelve people from Hobart, Sydney, Melbourne, and London took part in the Conference and such was the power of the experience it was decided to write a book about it.

There are 11 contributors and the contributions are an expression of exploring the concept of the ‘heart of dreaming’ through poems, paintings, textiles, photos, and writing.  Each contributor chose their own way of how they best could do it and from what vertex. The book is a collective evocation of experiences of social dreaming and time spent in the desert at Soapy Bore. Themes that emerge from the experience and the creative expression of the experience include: people, the land, the elements, dreaming, spirit, heart and being.

Alastair Bain


On behalf of my fellow co-editor Alastair Bain, the contributors of this collection of essays and creative works, and David Patman who has done the job of publishing this body of work online: Amongst many people who deserve our gratitude for contributing to the work of ‘social dreaming’ and who supported this project, I wish to express my gratitude to Kumantyjay Jones. He was the traditional owner and clan leader of Arawerre, who showed us kindness and generosity in giving us permission to camp and dream at the Sandover riverbed in September of 2009. I would like to express our sadness and regret at his recent passing, and our thankfulness that he was curious enough about our ‘dreaming’ to allow us access to his country.

We were blessed with the hospitality of the Alyaware people, the warmth of the sand, clear skies, and the wind that kindly blew away our words when necessary. The dreams we had and shared were truly wonderful.

Sara Taylor


Lawrence, W.G. “Won from the void and formless infinite: experiences in social dreaming” in Free Associations. Vol, 2, Part 2, No. 22, 259 -294, 1991.  

Lawrence, W.G. (ed) Infinite Possibilities of Social Dreaming. Karnac, London, 1997

Lawrence, W.G (ed) Experiences in Social Dreaming. Karnac, London, 2003.