Friends of Horizn: We talk travel and Ibiza with superhero curator, Heather Harmon
Spirit of Exploration
"Ibiza practices patience, it’s a skill that is immensely helpful in adjusting to island life."
From gallerist to writer, Jane-of-all-trades Heather Harmon has been working in the arts industry for over 20 years. When her job managing international art collections all over the world brought her to Ibiza, she became one of the most influential figures on the island’s cultural scene. Today, through her work with KCM Fine Arts, Lune Rouge and Art Projects Ibiza, she helps keep the local arts motors running—even during the off season.
We chat to the well-traveled arts scene heroine about travel essentials, jet lag cures and life on the island.
(Photos: Gabriel Maderazo)
So many people come to Ibiza and fantasise about dropping everything and moving to the island—but you've actually done it. What has that been like?
Ibiza is truly a tale of two cities. Between fall to spring and then summer the island changes drastically, with each tempo having a magic all its own.
As a place that is full of discoveries I feel simultaneously as though I’ve gone deep and yet have barely touched the surface. The incredible kindness of the full time residents on the island is one of its greatest attributes as are the full moons, which are unparalleled. Island life definitely holds a pace that requires some level of acclimation but if one is open and generous it is a good lesson to be learned.
Your job takes you on the road a lot—what are some of your tips for arriving in good form and ready to work?
First and foremost, drinking copious amounts of water is paramount and the most important key to beating jet lag, as is exercise. Generally I never nap when I arrive from a transatlantic flight.
From the moment I hit the ground running, I try to adjust to the time zone. I never drink alcohol on the plane and will often opt for chlorophyll instead, which oxygenates the blood cells, keeping circulation active. A shot or two of ginger always helps too. If you’re adventurous you can add lemon and cayenne pepper but that’s not for the faint of heart. We make them daily at Lune Rouge, as part of the team’s regimen of experiments and potions.
What do you wish Ibiza could take more of from NYC or London?
Ibiza practices patience, it’s a skill that is immensely helpful in adjusting to island life. Toning down the attitude and pressure does not mean that one is less effective, there is a way to treat other people that is slower and with a different level of attention.
It is the only way to integrate into a place this mysterious and multilayered. In terms of taking a cue from the big cities, there are very few shopping options.
Other than NYC (the BEST store on the island) it is difficult to find non tourist venues for anything remotely wearable.
Lune Rouge and Art Projects Ibiza stay open all year round—can you tell us a little about life on the island during off season?
Off season is a very well kept secret. It is the time when the locals connect, cook, talk, engage, hike and let loose a bit.
Lune Rouge initiates a big cultural push in the winter- hosting school groups, activities for children, events and collaborations with MACE (the contemporary art museum). A large number of businesses close from October to April, and those that stay open enjoy the treasures of the island, which is essentially the residents invested in the community who seek a life beyond the surface of what is often the perceived as the penultimate party island.
Any dream destination you hope to cross off your list this year?
Naoshima, Japan has been at the top of my list for some time.
To visit the Benesee Art Site, view the architecture and installations is a dream and it’s becoming a reality too having recently found a window just after Art Basel Hong Kong.
Being a frequent flyer isn't always fun—is there any way you like to spoil yourself while traveling?
In the spirit of our team’s exploration into health and growth, I bring along, QuintEssential(s)- small vials of sea minerals which are great for the tired body.
I also travel with dark chocolate, generally containing sea salt. Mast and ZenBunni are favorite brands. Byredo hand cream is a must as is Manuka honey. These are among a few of the gems you will find in my carry on at all times. The most indulgent luxury though, is a good book. I never go anywhere without one. My current traveling companions are a flea market copy of Buckminster Fuller’s Ideas and Integrities and Jorge Luis Borges’ collection of nonfiction, The Total Library.
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