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Cultivating creativity and community – Estudio Laterna

In the heart of Santa Gertrudis, this new hub of creativity embraces the connection between nature and art.

Creative duo Andrea Sánchez and Ricardo Jarpa have transformed what was once an abandoned lot choked by weeds and trash next to a long empty warehouse has been transformed into Estudio Laterna, a wondrous experimental garden and creative hub in the heart of Santa Gertrudis.

Words: Danni Landa

The gardens created by renowned landscape designer Andrea Sánchez across Ibiza are envisioned as living artworks. Art and artistry have always informed her creative output, where layers of meaning are built into flowers, trees, and shrubs, and it’s the artist in her that dreamed of combining her passions into a single endeavour – the creation of a space that transcends labels, uniting the disciplines of landscaping and art into an inclusive and welcoming core. Now, in the heart of Santa Gertrudis – where once sat a neglected patch of ground and an empty warehouse – stands Estudio Laterna, Andrea’s dream come true.
Tall grasses sway along a path wending through bushes as a dappled sun flits between towering trees. An ancient fig, saved from the choking grip of trash and weeds, is lovingly propped up, finally given the respect she deserves. In the shade is a bench where visitors can stop for a moment, to breathe, listen, and witness the beauty of nature. After decades of seeing this space as nothing more than a disused lot, locals are completely intrigued by Estudio Laterna. “There’s always people stopping to look,” says Sánchez. “It’s an experimental garden, a living installation designed for sculptures and as a recreational space to allow the community to be surrounded by art.”

Next door is the gallery, opening onto a reception area housing sculptures by Formentera-based artist and jeweller Enric Majoral and local painter Júlia Ribas. From here, Sánchez and her husband Ricardo Jarpa continue to run their landscaping empire in addition to curating and hosting a plethora of events at Estudio Laterna in the coming weeks and months. The lower floor houses a vast area for exhibitions and a delightful patio where no doubt many a vino will be imbibed at openings. “It’s always been a dream to be surrounded by books, art, and nature,” says Sánchez. “We want this space to serve as an inspiration.” In keeping with this vision, the space also boasts a cosy lounge area lined with shelves of art-inspired books for both adults and kids for sale.
The garden and gallery function in symbiosis; each area an echo of Estudio Laterna’s ethos. “It’s an artistic capsule,” she says. “We have space to give rise to different creative disciplines where artists can push the boundaries.” To date, there have been two exhibitions including Landscape of the Sun (curated in collaboration with Alex Flick) and Phenomena (curated by Sánchez), the buzzing book launch of the Made in Ibiza – a tome showcasing creative island locals including Sánchez and Jarpa, and a local book club get-together among other gatherings, plus the current exhibition ­– a solo show by Canadian-born nomad Carlito Dalceggio ­– which opened to much acclaim on May 10, 2024.

Dalceggio’s practice applies a no-rules approach to his work, traversing canvas, tarps, sculptures, videos, installations, public murals, and even the sails of a yacht. Possessing a fluidity across various genres and cultures, he aims to craft the ‘mythology of now’. His vibrant, eclectic style reflects influences from both ancient traditions and modern movements, ranging from Dia de Los Muertos and whirling dervishes to modern jazz. Always on the move, Dalceggio’s art has been featured in community projects in Mexico, Russia, Canada, Turkey, and beyond, leaving behind symbols of a new, borderless world where art acts as a transformative, shamanic expression.
Curated in collaboration with London and Ibiza-based consultancy SmithVaitiare, Dalceggio’s show for Estudio Laterna is titled Tierra Desnuda, which translates to Naked Earth, an apt name for a project connecting art with the land. Each piece was painted outdoors using earth from Thailand, Laos, and Ibiza. The works represent a kind of channelling of ancient and mysterious stories, exploring the affinities between light and death. Many of Dalceggio’s common motifs appear – birds, bullheads, wings, and lovers –as he searches within himself and the cosmos for threads to gather into a theory of art he calls Primitive Futurism.

Unlike other galleries, Estudio Laterna lets its artists show for up to five months, allowing a gestation period for people to come and go as often as they like. “We are not a traditional gallery,” explains Sánchez. “We have set our own rules to the game. We serve as a platform for international and Ibicencan artists who are inspired by the island.” Sitting somewhere between art, design, and nature, it’s clear Estudio Laterna is destined to become a place for many to connect with creativity. “It’s an ecosystem. Everything is linked,” says Andrea. “We have the opportunity to use this space as a platform to teach and share all the creative possibilities that exist.
For Sánchez, the creative process means freedom, whether the medium is soil and plants or paint and canvas. “The spectator is also free to understand or not understand, to see what they want to see,” she says. “Art is a mutual act of freedom. That’s why I like it so much.” As Estudio Laterna grows into a dynamic cultural hub for Ibiza, the duo’s vision of blending art, nature, and community is already taking root, deepening in the fertile ground of artistic and community collaboration. This beautiful project is set to illuminate the cultural landscape drawing both locals and visitors into its transformative ambiance to become a vital creative hub for Ibiza and beyond.