BY SAM WALKER
A painter has credited the NHS for helping her fight back against a crippling illness, and to pick her brush back up after she had stopped for 40 years.
Juli Fejér, of Southfields Road, Wandsworth, suffers with fibromyalgia, which can cause muscle stiffness, memory and concentration issues and extreme tiredness.
After trying a number of different tactics to alleviate the pain over four decades, she opted to try the NHS pain management course at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, which helped boost her confidence and get her back on her feet.
She managed to start painting again in January this year, and in early October she held an open house showcasing her art, as part of Wandsworth Artists’ Open House project.
Juli said: “For decades fibromyalgia blighted my life. “I lost my job, I lost touch with friends and became depressed. “Just when things seemed at their lowest, my mother died suddenly.
“I was overwhelmed by despair. “Forcing myself to look outwards at the everyday world kept me going.
“I started to draw on my iPad and share pictures on Facebook.
“I taught myself how to use new media and began selling paintings online.
“But the real turning point came in January when I went on an NHS pain management course at St George’s Hospital, Tooting.
“I was very sceptical because I had tried everything over the past 20 years. “I agreed to go because I felt I had nothing to lose.
“The team at St George’s helped me so much.
“The skills I learned gave me the confidence to really develop my art.”
“I am still in pain but now it no longer crushes me. “I am fighting back against the dragon of fibromyalgia.” The pain Juli suffers is expressed through her art and she often uses purple in her paintings, the colour associated with Fibromyalgia.
She said her ambition is to make art which is accessible and which people will want to have in their homes.
She has sold more than 100 artworks and has 3000 followers on Instagram, and earlier this year, one of her pictures was highly commended in the Leisure Painter Open Art Competition.
She cites Frida Kahlo and Vincent Van Gogh as big influences, both artists whose lives were marked
Some of the pieces at her open house were of the Thames, Wimbledon Common, and Wandsworth Park.
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