Synaesthesia – a multisensory experience

9th November 2009 by Judith Harvey

Synaesthesia – a multisensory experience


I first met Jane Mackay when she had just returned to London after two years as a volunteer teaching paramedics in Papua New Guinea. Later, when I was a mature medical student, I was able to spend a couple of weeks at her practice in Walworth, one of London’s roughest areas, and her enthusiasm encouraged me to consider inner city practice.

I knew Jane was a talented musician, but her artistic ability didn’t come to public notice until she was recovering from a back injury and took up her childhood hobby of painting, because she found standing easier than sitting. Her first solo public exhibition was in Salisbury in 1993; at her Aldeburgh exhibition  in 1997 I met one of the doctors from Walworth looking anxiously at the rapidly spreading rash of ‘sold’ spots on the pictures and muttering that she feared the practice would be advertising for a new partner before too long.

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