A new exhibition of paintings inspired by an East Dulwich artist’s experience of living with Multiple Sclerosis on display in Red Post Hill.
Fifty-two-year-old Jolie Goodman’s Swimming in the Slow Lane is formed of acrylic paintings and digital prints inspired by her love of swimming.
Goodman was diagnosed with MS eight years ago, and turned to swimming to help manage the condition.
Since then, she says a plant-based wholefood diet, vitamin D supplements, regular exercise and reducing stress have helped deal with the symptoms.
On first being diagnosed, she said: “It was a huge shock, but I was helped by a family friend who also has MS. She told me MS was nothing to be afraid of.”
The exhibition is on display from today until the end of January, with a private view held this evening (Thursday, December 5) to raise funds for the charities Overcoming MS and the Mental Health Foundation.
Goodman, who works two days a week for Mental Health Foundation , said both the charities’ advice and support had made a huge difference.
“My husband did some research and with some trepidation I started the OMS diet in May 2017,” she explained.
“And with regards to other aspects of the OMS programme, I was fortunate to have an understanding of stress reduction, through my work in mental health.
“I enjoy practising meditation and I find being mindful in my own life, helps underpin my work as well.
“My health is improving and I feel healthier. While my left side is still weaker, it no longer feels like concrete.
“I no longer find myself overwhelmed by exhaustion that I have to lie on the floor to rest in the middle of hanging up the washing. I now know that pizzas taste fantastic without cheese.
“My exercise of choice is swimming, hence my exhibition, Swimming in the Slow Lane.
“I swim for health, exercise and because I enjoy it. I always feel better for a swim.
“I’m not fast but this Autumn I have swum 2000 metres in one stretch. I find the experience of my morning swims inspiring.
“I’ve been an artist for over 30 years. At a stage in my life when my artistic practice is pushed for time, making digital drawings after swimming has been a way to sustain my artwork.
“Each swim is different. The digital prints are my memories of the people and goings on in the slow lane.
Being on the OMS programme has provided me with a way to be more in control of my life, to change lanes when life is challenging, to improve my quality of life and to feel hopeful for the future.”