"If I were allowed one single cry to God that cry would be: I want to be REAL"
Katherine Mansfield

Katherine Mansfield

Katherine Mansfield

In 1922, consumed with tuberculosis, Katherine Mansfield came to George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff's Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man at Fontainebleau-Avon; and there, on 9 January 1923, she died. A young woman at the height of her literary powers, intuitively aware of the absolute necessity to search for “the real” in her life, regardless of a debilitating illness, regardless of the opinion of others, she courageously engaged with a powerful teaching - what outer and inner events led to that engagement and how does that search relate to us, here and now?

Octave’s second event - a semi-dramatised presentation of Katherine’s life during her last few months, required a larger audience and theatre style seating; a different ambiance. We worked together to produce hand painted posters, and the question for us was how to translate into a poster some sense of the mysterious, some sense of her experiences and the changes which occurred in her inner life. We faced the challenges of being in front of an audience in a more dramatic setting, at the same time to not embellish the essence of what we were presenting. Through her diaries and letters we illustrated her spiritual regeneration at Fontainebleau. She experienced a profound harmony in Gurdjieff’s Sacred Dances (or Movements), and recorded pieces from the Gurdjieff/Thomas de Hartmann music for Movements were played, helping to bring a sense of her perception and feeling for them. She wrote of one of the Sacred Dances: "... it contains the whole life of a woman - but everything! Nothing is left out. It taught me, it gave me more of a woman's life than any book or poem."

"One has, all the time, the feeling of having been in a wreck and by the mercy of Providence got ashore …somewhere. Simply everything is different. It’s a real new life.”
Katherine Mansfield