The Story behind the Swimmers

Since I’ve been making the paintings I’ve learned from Tom Kearney (@comadad) how the swimming group— called the East German Ladies’ Swimming Team (click HERE for their website), click HERE for one of many videos about them)— got started, with his own story.  In 2009 he was struck by a bus on Oxford Street in London (a huge problem, click HERE about that) and ended up in a GCS3 coma. During his recovery, a Hampstead neighbor of his, the poet Al Alvarez, recommend that he start swimming, in very cold water starting with the Hampstead Ponds, and he has been doing that ever since, gathering many friends along the way.  Tom’s own coming back from the brink of death to really try to live life, and the sheer life and energy of all of these guys, at a time of life when many people slow down or coast, is an inspiration. 

4 Swimmers (3), 2015. 9x12 inches, oil on canvas.