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Sax Impey 'To The Water'

Fully illustrated catalogue of the solo exhibition 'To The Water' by Sax Impey at Anima Mundi, St. Ives

Fully illustrated catalogue of the solo exhibition 'To The Water' by Sax Impey at Anima Mundi, St. Ives

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<strong>Sax</strong> <strong>Impey</strong> To <strong>The</strong> Water


Here dips the rocky highland<br />

Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,<br />

<strong>The</strong>re lies a leafy island<br />

Where flapping herons wake<br />

<strong>The</strong> drowsy water rats;<br />

<strong>The</strong>re we’ve hid our faery vats,<br />

Full of berrys<br />

And of reddest stolen cherries.<br />

Come away, O human child!<br />

To the waters and the wild<br />

With a faery, hand in hand,<br />

For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.<br />

Where the wave of moonlight glosses<br />

<strong>The</strong> dim gray sands with light,<br />

Far off by furthest Rosses<br />

We foot it all the night,<br />

Weaving olden dances<br />

Mingling hands and mingling glances<br />

Till the moon has taken flight;<br />

To and fro we leap<br />

And chase the frothy bubbles,<br />

While the world is full of troubles<br />

And anxious in its sleep.<br />

Come away, O human child!<br />

To the waters and the wild<br />

With a faery, hand in hand,<br />

For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.<br />

Where the wandering water gushes<br />

From the hills above Glen-Car,<br />

In pools among the rushes<br />

That scarce could bathe a star,<br />

We seek for slumbering trout<br />

And whispering in their ears<br />

Give them unquiet dreams;<br />

Leaning softly out<br />

From ferns that drop their tears<br />

Over the young streams.<br />

Come away, O human child!<br />

To the waters and the wild<br />

With a faery, hand in hand,<br />

For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.<br />

Away with us he’s going,<br />

<strong>The</strong> solemn-eyed:<br />

He’ll hear no more the lowing<br />

Of the calves on the warm hillside<br />

Or the kettle on the hob<br />

Sing peace into his breast,<br />

Or see the brown mice bob<br />

Round and round the oatmeal chest.<br />

For he comes, the human child,<br />

To the waters and the wild<br />

With a faery, hand in hand,<br />

For the world’s more full of weeping than he can understand.<br />

W.B Yeats ‘<strong>The</strong> Stolen Child’


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Anima Mundi are delighted to present<br />

’To <strong>The</strong> Water’, the latest solo exhibition<br />

from environmental artist and mariner<br />

<strong>Sax</strong> <strong>Impey</strong>.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se works are derived from first hand<br />

experiences at sea - having sailed many<br />

thousands of miles around the world,<br />

these journeys continue to have profound<br />

resonance for the artist. Some of the works<br />

in this show are based on experiences from<br />

his most recent transatlantic trip made last<br />

year, where others draw from a broader<br />

history of sailing voyages, for <strong>Impey</strong> this<br />

show has become more of “a general hymn<br />

to the oceans”.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is also a sense with this exhibition<br />

of the journey that takes place on land,<br />

and in the studio, where experience must<br />

be translated in to form. <strong>The</strong>re is notable<br />

evidence of continued experimentation<br />

in the diversity of mark making in this<br />

body of work in the search for something<br />

immersive and elemental, where the use<br />

of medium reflects the behaviour of<br />

phenomenon. <strong>Impey</strong> recollects his awe at<br />

the confidence and immediacy captured in<br />

the seascapes of 19th Century Norwegian<br />

artist Peder Balke, and a desire for his work<br />

to incorporate this expressive and dynamic,<br />

sinuous energy alongside an adeptness<br />

for precision.<br />

As <strong>Impey</strong> has said, “sailing allows the<br />

experience of a constant duality, of both<br />

intimacy and immensity, and while you’re<br />

up close and personal with it, you’re<br />

always aware of yourself as something<br />

of a speck in the vastness”, and the<br />

changing scale of works is his attempt to<br />

embrace that duality.<br />

Accompanying the paintings is a film work,<br />

which is structured to echo the Beaufort<br />

scale of wind speed, so begins flat calm,<br />

and proceeds with gradually increasing<br />

intensity. It is bookended by two passages,<br />

and interspersed with visitations, which<br />

reflect the correlation <strong>Impey</strong> holds with<br />

dolphins and the faeries of Yeats’ poem<br />

‘Stolen Child’ from which the exhibition<br />

title derives - entrancing, enchanting<br />

apparitions from another world, a siren<br />

call to a realm we cannot fully inhabit, but<br />

remain deeply connected to.<br />

Indeed, it is through these works that we<br />

are invited to experience this unmediated<br />

attempt at reconnection with our natural<br />

world. As Albert Einstein wrote “A human<br />

being is a part of the whole called by us<br />

universe, a part limited in time and space.<br />

He experiences himself, his thoughts and<br />

feeling as something separated from the<br />

rest, a kind of optical delusion of his<br />

consciousness. This delusion is a kind of<br />

prison for us, restricting us to our personal<br />

desires and to affection for a few persons<br />

nearest to us. Our task must be to free<br />

ourselves from this prison by widening our<br />

circle of compassion to embrace all living<br />

creatures and the whole of nature in its<br />

beauty.” A seemingly complex task perhaps,<br />

but nonetheless one aided by these works,<br />

and the continued courage and endeavour<br />

of the artist who made them.<br />

Joseph Clarke, 2023<br />

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Songs From <strong>The</strong> Water (1)<br />

mixed media on paper, 17 x 25 cm<br />

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Light, Calm (1)<br />

mixed media on paper, 17 x 25 cm<br />

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Light, Calm (2)<br />

mixed media on paper, 17 x 25 cm<br />

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Landfall (5)<br />

mixed media on paper, 17 x 25 cm<br />

9


Gale (1)<br />

mixed media on panel, 91 x 122 cm<br />

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Gale (2)<br />

mixed media on panel, 91 x 122 cm<br />

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In <strong>The</strong> Night (1)<br />

mixed media on paper, 30 x 60 cm<br />

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In <strong>The</strong> Night (2)<br />

mixed media on paper, 30 x 60 cm<br />

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In <strong>The</strong> Night (3)<br />

mixed media on paper, 30 x 60 cm<br />

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In <strong>The</strong> Night (4)<br />

mixed media on paper, 30 x 60 cm<br />

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In <strong>The</strong> Night (5)<br />

mixed media on paper, 30 x 60 cm<br />

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Trinity (1)<br />

mixed media on panel, 122 x 187 cm<br />

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Landfall (1)<br />

mixed media on paper, 30 x 60 cm<br />

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Landfall (2)<br />

mixed media on paper, 30 x 60 cm<br />

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Landfall (3)<br />

mixed media on paper, 30 x 60 cm<br />

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Landfall (4)<br />

mixed media on paper, 30 x 60 cm<br />

29


Still Waters (1)<br />

mixed media on paper, 30 x 60 cm<br />

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Still Waters (2)<br />

mixed media on paper, 30 x 60 cm<br />

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Still Waters (3)<br />

mixed media on paper, 30 x 60 cm<br />

33


Horizon Light<br />

mixed media on panel, 91 x 152 cm<br />

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Horizon Light Study<br />

mixed media on paper, 41 x 90 cm<br />

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Lightning (1)<br />

mixed media on panel, 91 x 152 cm<br />

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Lightning (2)<br />

mixed media on panel, 61 x 122 cm<br />

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Lightning (3)<br />

mixed media on panel, 61 x 122 cm<br />

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Songs From <strong>The</strong> Water (2)<br />

mixed media on paper, 30 x 60 cm<br />

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Songs From <strong>The</strong> Water (3)<br />

mixed media on paper, 37 x 86 cm<br />

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Songs From <strong>The</strong> Water (4)<br />

mixed media on paper, 37 x 86 cm<br />

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Songs From <strong>The</strong> Water (5)<br />

mixed media on paper, 37 x 86 cm<br />

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Songs From <strong>The</strong> Water (6)<br />

mixed media on paper, 30 x 60 cm<br />

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Songs From <strong>The</strong> Water (7)<br />

mixed media on paper, 37 x 86 cm<br />

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Songs From <strong>The</strong> Water (8)<br />

mixed media on paper, 30 x 60 cm<br />

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Trinity Study (1)<br />

mixed media on paper, 30 x 60 cm<br />

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Trinity Study (2)<br />

mixed media on paper, 37 x 86 cm<br />

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Trinity (2)<br />

mixed media on panel, 122 x 187 cm<br />

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Last of the Light<br />

mixed media on panel, 122 x 244 cm<br />

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Selected Biography<br />

<strong>Sax</strong> <strong>Impey</strong> is a British artist born in Penzance, Cornwall. He currently works from one of the<br />

prestigious Porthmeor Studios in St. Ives. From 2005, he has collaborated with the crosscultural,<br />

environmental art group Red Earth in the creation of site-specific installations<br />

including a multi media performance at Trafalgar Square, London and Birling Gap in<br />

Sussex. In 2007 <strong>Impey</strong>’s work was selected for the ‘Art Now Cornwall’ exhibition at Tate St<br />

Ives where he was placed on the cover of the associated publication. <strong>The</strong> same year he was<br />

heralded in <strong>The</strong> Times as one of the ‘New Faces of Cornish Art’. In 2010 he was featured in<br />

Owen Sheers’s BBC4 Documentary ‘Art of the Sea (In Pictures)’ alongside Anish Kapoor,<br />

J. M. W. Turner, Martin Parr and Maggi Hambling among others. His work was selected as<br />

a finalist the 2013 Threadneedle Prize and the year before was elected an Academician at<br />

the Royal West of England Academy. Most recently <strong>Impey</strong> was included in ‘<strong>The</strong> Rime Of<br />

<strong>The</strong> Ancient Mariner : Big Read’ project alongside artists including Glenn Brown, Linder,<br />

Cornelia Parker, Marina Abramović, Yinka Shonibare, Charles Avery, Gavin Turk, Fiona<br />

Banner, Mark Dion, Derek Jarman, William Kentridge and John Akomfrah accompanied by<br />

readings from renowned voices including Jeremy Irons, Willem Dafoe, Hilary Mantel, Simon<br />

Armitage, Tilda Swinton, Iggy Pop, Marianne Faithfull, Alan Cumming, Rupert Everett and<br />

Alan Bennett. <strong>Impey</strong>’s paintings are in multiple collections including <strong>The</strong> Arts Council,<br />

Warwick University, the Connaught Hotel alongside other private collections worldwide.


Published by Anima Mundi to coincide with <strong>Sax</strong> <strong>Impey</strong> ‘To <strong>The</strong> Water’<br />

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or<br />

by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the publishers<br />

Photography by Claira Matheson<br />

Anima Mundi . Street-an-Pol . St. Ives . Cornwall . +44 (0)1736 793121 . mail@animamundigallery.com . www.animamundigallery.com


www.animamundigallery.com

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