Susan’s solo exhibition, BREATH OF NATURE, has just opened at London’s Belgravia Gallery. The paintings included in the show mark a turning point in Susan’s artistic vision towards an increasingly abstract—and increasingly urgent yet hopeful — painting style. Perhaps no painting illustrates this change more clearly than the title work Breathless.
Breathless explores the essential vitality of respiration — the repetitive pattern of inhale and exhale that both animals and plants undergo in an inverse relationship. Oxygen in, carbon dioxide out. CO2 in, O2 out.
“The very idea of breathing has two equally important, but opposite aspects,” explains Susan. “In the same way, I look at nature in two equally valid, but totally opposing ways.” In one sense, the startling beauty of the natural world (like an alpine forest cloaked in autumn colors) can metaphorically take our breath away.
Seen from a darker place that has its roots in Susan’s decade-long struggle with environmentally-bred illnesses, Breathless takes on a different shade. A chemically-colored and poisoned natural world can literally asphyxiate us, as Susan knows all too well.
Susan’s hope is that viewers consider both interpretations of Breathless. And, she hopes that the juxtaposition will inspire them to restore and protect the natural world around them.