Humans have been using the earth’s surface as a canvas for millennia. Cave paintings in France and Australia, Neolithic burial tombs in Ireland and India, white hill figures in the green pastures of southeast England, the Nazca lines in Peru and of course the world famous Stonehenge. Australian-born artist Andrew Rogers has concerned himself with geoglyphs for the most part of his career and now thanks to Cirque de Soleil founder Guy Laliberté, Ibiza has its very own Andrew Rogers sculpture.
The locals call it Ibiza Henge but its real name is Time and Space – The Speed of Light. Thirteen solid basalt rectangular columns sit on a secluded cliff top near Cala Llentia in San Jose on Ibiza’s southwest coast – neighbouring Seven Pines Resort Ibiza. The expansive view across the Med lends powerful otherworldly mood to what can only be described as a mystical monument.
The messages buried within the piece are simultaneously earthly and arcane. Those with a keen mathematical eye might notice how the columns have been positioned in height and distance (as well as in weight) to form a Fibonacci sequence – a succession of numbers where the next number is found by adding the two numbers that come before it. The Fibonacci sequence has long existed; first coming into use in ancient Indian mathematics and playing a part in the structure of the Sanskrit Vedas.
Over millennia, mathematicians, artists, poets, architects, philosophers, psychologists, biologists and computer nerds have employed the Fibonacci sequence, and its cousin the Golden Ratio, to ponder the structure of our world. It is maths at its most elegant. Fibonacci shows up all through the human experience and the natural world – in the way petals grow, the branching of trees, the uncurling of a fern or the arrangement of a pinecone and even in the ancestral code of the honeybee and the human X chromosome. We unknowingly encounter the Fibonacci sequence every day.
The enormous columns also form an ellipse, which according to Rogers: “alludes to the trajectories of the planets moving around the sun. It is a vision of time and space and the interconnectedness of humanity.” The tallest column in the centre of the ellipse measures ten metres high and is topped with 23-carat gold to reflect the setting sun during the Winter Solstice. While a casual passer-by might fail to notice the astronomical and mathematical beauty of the sculpture, there are very few who are not moved but its ethereal beauty.
The solace found in the surrounding environment, the shushing tide of the sea below the soaring sky above soon overshadow any residual admonishments to never touch art. Lay a hand on one of the columns and you are privy to a secret and ancient language transmitted through ageless basalt. Left to imagine any number of scenarios, the sculpture is where the artist’s imagination crosses paths with that of the viewer. Who is creating the story here? The answer can be found in Rogers’ other works, specifically Rhythms of Life.
It is the largest contemporary land-art project in the world spanning 51 sculptures across 18 sites in 16 countries and seven continents. These drawings, or geoglyphs, range in size up to 40,000 square metres and are positioned in locations from below sea level up to altitudes of 4,300 metres. From icy fjords and remote deserts to valleys and frozen lakes, Rogers has collaborated with over 7,500 people with the idea of exploring “cultural diversity and the global intersection of ideas and peoples… to address globalisation and our shared humanity.”
In each location, Rogers consults with local authorities, communities and environmentalists, enlisting help from everyone including the Himba tribe in the Namib Desert, soldiers from the Chinese Army in the Gobi Desert and Bolivian Shamans in the Altiplano. The works are so substantial that they can be seen from space and a special Google Earth tour has been designed to take people on a virtual journey.
Visitors to Time and Space – The Speed of Light find themselves immersed in a world somewhere between the ancients and the galactic future. Like all of Roger’s land-art, it’s hard to position oneself on the human time scale when contemplating the piece and easy to let the imagination run free between ecstatic tribal rituals to an alien calling card. It provides connection to the many hands that have helped create the art, the many lives it has touched and to the ritualistic history of humanity. It’s also a lovely spot to take in the magnificent view and get some respite from earthly concerns.
Contact guest services to organise guided walks to Time and Space – The Speed of Light – or alternatively you can request a picnic basket and directions and go on a solo adventure. Make sure you add it to the Ibiza itinerary as it really is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with one of the world’s most interesting and prolific artists.
Our Guest Relations Team would be pleased to arrange a guided tour for you or to show you the way to this remarkable site.