The red mountain of El Medano is a familiar and welcoming sight to visitors as they pass through Tenerife South airport, but from Finca Los Cardones its place on the skyline is rivaled by the bold, fascinating creations that fill the sculpture park. Gernot Huber is the visionary who has combined art with nature and he is now inviting the public to enjoy nearly 100 works at the old farm in San Isidro, Granadilla.
Sitting on the patio of his self built home, the German is surrounded by smaller works of art like a bronze bull dating back to 1987 when he took on the 77,000 square metre area. “There was no electricity and no service road, just nature at its rawest. All the materials used to make the sculptures – volcanic stone, steel, glass, and wood, are natural to Tenerife and I have blended them in with the features of this land.”
A 2km gravel pathway full of artistic surprises leads visitors through a small ravine, up small hills, and even down into a clearing in front of caves originally occupied by the Guanche inhabitants of Tenerife and later by shepherds with goats. Many of the art works pay homage to the island’s past and although Gernot has created most of the sculptures, there are also offerings from artists who have come from as far as the Ukraine and Israel to study and create at the Gernot Huber Foundation, staying at its old stone cottage out in the grounds.
Gernot has filled a similar park near Hamburg with moving sculptures and there are some here in Granadilla that respond to the breeze. Birds and plants are a popular inspiration for the pieces in the park. “The cardon plant is quite rare now on the island but we have made good use of it and have also used stone quarried just along the coast.”
The twisting path offers plenty for all the senses, I enjoyed the whimsical birds of Ukraine artist Pavel Ehrlich, they pop up frequently to lighten the mood of the more thoughtful, historical pieces. The nature, history and landscape of Tenerife have captivated Gernot and it comes out in his work with pieces named after the elements, the passing of time, and the seasons. Looking after such a large, exposed park brings constant challenge; in 2005 tropical storm Delta damaged 20 sculptures.
Originally a designer of more functional vending and service machines, Gernot made his first artistic creation at the age of 14 and the San Isidro park is a natural extension of his fascination with shapes and structures. It’s been a long and demanding process to bed the bigger objects down among the cactus and rugged folds of the land but the overall effect is a treat on the eyes, and Gernot has plenty more ideas to add to the collection.
Sculpture Park, Finca Los Cardones, exit Carretera 64 just above San Isidro, Granadill; tel (+34) 922 77 23 31: open 2nd Sunday of each month, 2 to 6pm; entry €10, under 16’s free
Category : days out
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