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Recent works by Susan Swartz

October 22 – November 24

Belgravia Gallery

45 Albemarle Street

London W1S 4JL

020 7495 1010

Weekdays 10 – 6

Fall Study

A Shared Passion for Environmental Campaigningbrings

Artist Susan Swartz and environmental leaders

Louie Psihoyos and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. together

at Belgravia Gallery in London November 7th

BREATH OF NATURE show of paintings by

American Painter and Environmental Campaigner Susan Swartz

on view at Belgravia Gallery Oct 22 - November 24

PARK CITY, Utah August 19 – Strikingly different life experiences brought environmental campaigners

Susan Swartz, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Louie Psihoyos to each others attention. But having sparked a strong

friendship the three are now speaking jointly to sound an alarm about the fragility of our planet and the very

personal impact environmental challenges can have on us and our families.

On November 7th Bobby Kennedy, the President and guiding force behind Waterkeeper Alliance, one of the

largest international environmental groups in the world with nearly 200 organizations on six continents, will join

American abstract painter Susan Swartz and Academy Award-winning documentary director, Louie Psihoyos,

Executive Director of the Oceanic Preservation Society, at Londons Belgravia gallery (www.belgraviagallery.

com) to talk about A Shared Passion for Environmental Campaigning.

From October 22 - November 24, BREATH OF NATURE, a show of paintings by Susan Swartz will be on view at

The Belgravia Gallery to underscore how the American abstract artist uses her talents to provoke others to make

the environment their focus.

Susan Swartz says, I am thrilled that Bobby Kennedy and Louie Psihoyos have agreed to join me in London to

cast a greater spotlight on the issues we all need to take seriously when it comes to protecting ourselves and our

families. We bring a message of hope and urgency – each of us has a gift we can tap to provoke, educate and

inform others.

When Bobby and Louie and I speak on our Shared Passion for Environmental Campaigningothers will come

to understand the very personal impact of environmental issues like climate change, mercury poisoning or air

pollution-- issues we know can no longer be ignored.

In a foreword to the BREATH OF NATURE show catalog, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. says I have long been

fascinated by the powerful connection between art and the environment – both define us as a people. The outer

world of nature and the interpretive world of art both insist that we transcend our narrow self-interest and see

beyond what is right in front of us. The natural world reminds us how we are all connected, not by geography,

but by river tributaries and wind patterns and fault lines. We depend on each other and also depend on the

stewardship of the natural world. For it provides our lifeblood: clean air and water.

Susan Swartz and I met over a shared commitment to use whatever resources are available to protect our air and

waterways. She deploys her paintbrush and I deploy the law. As I look at Susans paintings I know we must save

not only what God has given us, we must also save ourselves from the environmental health problems we have

created for our children. I am humbled and proud to call Susan an artist, activist and friend. In her work I find

refuge and inspiration.

In his foreword to the BREATH OF NATURE catalog, Louie Psihoyos says, As an artist Susan Swartz spent years

painting the grandeur and serenity of the natural world. When she became desperately ill with environmentally-

bred diseases (Mercury Poisoning and Lyme Disease) Susan saw the fragility of nature. When I helped form

the Oceanic Preservation Society Susan saw the truth in our story right away and became a champion of OPS

and a supporter of our films. The Mercury Rising documentary Susan helped get produced is now distributed

with The Cove. For me as with Susan, the line between campaigner and artist is blurred. We are lovers of the

planet and experts of our craft. We hope you will join us in revering and respecting the complex, colorful,

unpredictable natural world that Susan brings to life in her paintings.

Anna Hunter, the Managing Director of Belgravia Gallery adds, Bobby Kennedy, Louie Psihoyos and Susan

Swartz are rare individuals who have found a way to use their particular talents to express their creativity and

passions and at the same time make a real difference in our society.

Art critic and BBC broadcaster Godfrey Barker has written the introduction for the BREATH OF NATURE

exhibition catalogue. In it he says, “Susan Swartz is a talented American painter of nature. She is also alarmed

at the destruction of the planet and seeks to remind by a deliberate beauty in what she paints just what it that

we are demolishing. No oil slicks in her art, just beauty. She sees nature as it were a soul,” in Van Goghs

words. Gerhard Richter decided in the 1950s and 60s that nature is a false friend with a smiling face; by flood,

avalanche, lightning, ocean, famine and disease it convulses the lives of innocent people. “My pictures demand

that viewers question their own relationships with the natural world,” she asserts. It is when an artist finds a

personal language and the craft to create in paint what she thinks and dreams that she has truly found a voice –

and found with it something fresh and individual to say on the ancient subjects of nature and landscape. I am

impressed by all see.


Bobby Kennedy, Louie Psihoyos and Susan Swartz have collaborated on a number of important environmental

initiatives that bring their shared messages of warningand ‘hope’ to a new audience. These include a film

and lecture series Susan Swartz organized last summer during an exhibition of her paintings at The National

Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C. where Kennedy was among several speakers to contribute

their time to focus on the environmental and healthy living issues Susan champions. Recently Susan Swartz was a

contributor to the Waterkeeper Art for Water Auction, co-chaired by Bobby Kennedy and Jeff Koons.

They also collaborated on the “Mercury Rising” documentary film, with Bobby Kennedy narrating the film.

Together their actions have helped communities stand up for their right to clean water and the wise and

equitable use of water resources, both locally and globally.

Susan Swartz says, “Mercury Rising” examines the dangers of mercury poisoning as it affects society and the

global environment. I have also supported a powerful documentary about the science, the politics and the

personal stories of Lyme disease, Under Our Skin.

Susan Swartz knows first-hand about these subjects. A landscape painter for the past 40 years, Susans decade-

long struggle with both of these environmentally related illnesses changed her life-focus. Challenged first by

mercury deposits, likely from poisoned fish she ate, and then by the effects of Lyme disease in her joints, Susan

Swartz was slowly paralyzed and literally unable to hold a paint brush.

“For long periods I could only paint with my eyes. Fortunately, over time, I got the care that allowed me to stand

before my canvases with new strength and inspiration. I know that during this arduous journey my faith helped

transform not just my art, but my life. I made a commitment to bring our environments fragility to the attention

of a wider audience through my art and activism. I have been forced out of my comfort zone as an artist, forced

to become bolder and riskier in my work. Today my paintings are more impassioned, and more profound than

anything I have created in the past.

It was a transformation begun with doubts and hard questions.

How could the very waters that have sustained all creatures on earth for the millenniums be so poisoned that its

very fisheries gave me mercury poisoning?

Susans art, lifestyle and outlook have changed dramatically. She left the comforts of realism, she changed

the habits of a lifetime and she found her voice for activism. Susan and her husband Jim Swartz became

Founding Members of Impact Partners, a philanthropic venture organization that supports documentary

filmmakers addressing pressing social issues. During the Salt Lake City Olympics Susan Swartz was named the

Environmental Olympic Artist, again underscoring her commitment to link her painting with her campaigning.

A classically trained painter from a family of artists and musicians, Susan Swartz now works from homes in Park

City, Utah and Marthas Vineyard, two of natures most awe-inspiring habitats.

Her personal story unfolded as science began to connect the all-important dots between coal burning fire plants

and mercury in our water and food supplies, between industrialized food manufacturing instead of organic


Susan now focuses on identifying people and organizations that actually make a difference, beginning with those

headed by Louie Psihoyos and Bobby Kennedy.

The vision of Bobby Kennedys chosen mission, the Waterkeeper Alliance, is for fishable, swimmable and

drinkable waterways worldwide.” They say the best way to achieve this vision is through the Waterkeeper method

of grassroots advocacy.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. was raised in a family that has perfected the art of advocacy and public service. The third

of 11 children of Ethel and Robert Francis Kennedy, Bobby at a young age was an animal and environmental

campaigner. As a litigator in his early thirties, he assumed the role of family orator.

Today, Kennedy is credited with leading the fight to protect New York Citys water supply, but his reputation as a

resolute defender of the environment stems from a litany of successful legal actions.

In 2010 he was named one of Time Magazines Heroes of the Planetfor his success helping Riverkeeper lead

the fight to restore the Hudson River.

Louie Psihoyos has been a world renowned photojournalist since National Geographic hired him when he was

just 23. He has circled the globe dozens of times and become one of the mediums most prolific and profound

visionaries and social observers, sharing his iconic imagery with countless audiences. He won an Academy

Award the first time he directed a documentary film. The medium allows him to be an even more potent


Swartz adds, I am blessed in so many ways that it means a great deal to me to know that I am applying my both

my talents and my resources to improving our environment for future generations.

Susan Swartz paintings are in private and corporate collections in the US, the UK and Japan. Her works are in

museum collections at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC; the Springville Museum

of Fine Art in Utah; the Utah Museum of Fine Arts; the George Eccels 2002 Olympic Winter Games Museum

in Utah; the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame & Museum in Michigan; and the International Olympic Museum

in Lausanne, Switzerland. Together with Thomas Moran, Albert Bierstadt, H.L.A. Culmer and Maynard Dixon,

Susan Swartz is included in the book Painters of the Wasatch Mountains.

Her published book Natural Revelations: The Art of Susan Swartz” was awarded a bronze medal at the 12th

Annual Independent Book Publisher Awards. Environmental activist Dr. Jane Goodall wrote the books


Goodall says, “Traditionally, many indigenous people made major decisions based on How will this affect our

people seven generations into the future?’—today, decisions are too often based on How will this affect the next

shareholders meeting?

Susan Swartz shares my concern for the future of life on this planet. Each of her paintings richly illustrates the

beauty of our world…and she encourages us not only to experience and savor these images of nature, but also to

do what we can to save nature itself.