Contemporary History, Digital Age, Real Places, Slow Thinking
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Finding precious things in the digital age: Es Cucons, Concha Ibáñez and the colours of Ibiza

5 min read

How do you find truly precious things in the digital age? Quite contradictory, not with Google and not on social media. Much rather, you still find them in books. And very often, once you have found something precious, it’s very likely related to another precious thing – you just have to follow the trace. And this qualitative trace is so much better and much more adventurous than any algorithm of »customers who bought this product also bought…« can provide.

The place I’m talking about here I found in a book, more precisely in a series of books, the Smart Travelling guides of Süddeutsche Zeitung (which I have been writing about already a while ago). The name of the place was Es Cucons. 

Rain on the island

We would have some magical times there – even though we would have to overcome some obstacles on our way. And they had to do with a very profane thing: the weather. When we had landed the Captain had warned the passengers the doorsteps would be slippery – because of the particularly bad weather. Later we ran through the pouring rain at the airport, desperately seeking our rental car. The spirits within our family were low, we were all nagging at each other, kids getting on our nerves, us getting on our nerves – but then finally we arrived at this very special place that gave us shelter.

Magical place: Es Cucons Hotel, Ibiza

The Es Cucons hotel in Ibiza has been build by the sisters Maria and Barbara and their husbands about 20 years ago. A daring venture back then, telling from the old photo album in the hall, showing an old, rather worn down farmhouse from the 17th century that had been completely done up by the young couples from Barcelona. It’s one of these pioneer stories that seem to be so typical for Ibiza. Today the Es Cucons is a lovely 15-room-hotel stretched over several buildings, with a beautiful view onto the valley of almonds in Santa Agnés, a lush garden full of succulents and lavender, a pool and sauna, a fantastic restaurant and – most importantly – special people who make the hotel a really special experience: Paula, Angelo, Emily, Denise – just to name a few.

Take your time to get to know art

Because the weather was so bad during the next couple of days we spent a lot of time inside the hotel, cuddling ourselves near the fire place, playing chess or cards. And because we spent so much time inside I had the chance to have a closer look at the paintings that were hung across the whole building.

It’s a funny thing with art and it’s basically comparable with meeting people – you have to take yourself time to get to know them. With the paintings in the old rural building of Es Cucons, it was the same. I found myself contemplating in front of them very often. They were showing mystifying landscapes, most of them a wide view over fields, little white cubical houses, walls of stones, a dusty hillside in the background. What stroke me the most were the colours: They were all subdued, muffled, but all containing this mixture of purple and a hint of rosé (like the fantastic Ibizkus rosado wine). 

Time bubbles on the internet

Digging deeper into the matter I learned that they were all created by the over 90-year old female Catalan artist Concha Ibáñez from Barcelona, an old friend of Maria’s parents, Maribel and Juan. The first Google search result I got when I googled her was an electric guitar named Ibanez, and only further down the artist’s modest Wikipedia entry. Do you know that feeling you have found something precious – because it’s not widely spread on the internet or on social media? Often these »internet antiques« come from a different time bubble, even from before the 1990s, which is why they have not left a trace in the sedimentary layers of the web. And because of that there’s a certain quietude and dignity to them. 

Quietude and dignity, these describe best Concha’s paintings – landscapes of Spain, Andalusia, Castile, Balearic and Canary Islands, which she has been painting for more than half a century. „She doesn’t paint the scenery she sees, but the scenery she feels inside“, says the small exhibition catalogue. The odd thing was – the more I was looking at her paintings reflecting her inner view onto the country she loved, the more I slowly started to connect with the real landscape of the island, its colours and its soil, through Concha’s paintings. Despite – or maybe even because – of the rain.

Es Cucons – Hotel Rural
Camí des Pla de Corona s/n, 07828 Santa Agnès de Corona, Ibiza

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