Mystical Es Vedra



In the site-specific project Mystical Es Vedrà, Phil Akashi observes how modern Ibiza (Eivissa) became an intricate mosaic of cultures and a crossroads of civilizations. Founded by the Phoenicians who transformed the island into a strategic enclave in the 7th century B.C., the history of Ibiza has been enriched later with Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans and Arabs occupations. Since 1999, large portions of the island are registered as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


Inspired by myths and legends of Es Vedrà, Phil Akashi created a monumental artwork integrating parts of the major ancient Greek epic poem, Homer’s Odyssey, mentioning the island to be home to sirens and sea-nymphs, who tried to lure Odysseus from his ship.  


The artist also incorporated numerous elements which recall the Phoenician past of the island such as letters of the Phoenician alphabet, replicas of Sa Caleta remains where the Phoenicians first settled, and representations of the Phoenician Tanit goddess worshiped as the goddess of fertility, life and death. The Tanit goddess is also said to be born on the holy island of Es Vedrà and became the symbol of Ibiza.


By doing so, Phil Akashi engages his audience with a reflection on languages, civilizations and cultures, and eventually pays tribute to one of the most spiritual, enigmatic and inspiring corners of the White Island.











Phil Akashi Mystical Es Vedra Ibiza 2019

Phil Akashi goes monumental in Es Vedra Ibiza

Phil Akashi Mystical Tanit Goddess Es Vedra Ibiza

Phil Akashi Civilisations Cultures Ibiza Es Vedra Phoenicians Tanit Sa Caleta












Homer - The Odyssey                                            


Bk XII:36-110 Odysseus tells his tale: Circe’s advice
Bk XII:165-200 Odysseus tells his tale: Passing the Sirens


Σειρῆνας μὲν πρῶτον ἀφίξεαι, αἵ ῥά τε πάντας
ἀνθρώπους θέλγουσιν, ὅτις σφεας εἰσαφίκηται
ὅς τις ἀϊδρείῃ πελάσῃ καὶ φθόγγον ἀκούσῃ
Σειρήνων, ῷ δ' οὔ τι γυνὴ καὶ νήπια τέκνα
οἴκαδε νοστήσαντι παρίσταται οὐδὲ γάνυνται
ἀλλὰ παρὲξ ἐλάαν, ἐπὶ δ' οὔατ' ἀλεῖψαι ἑταίρων
κηρὸν δεψήσας μελιηδέα, μή τις ἀκούσῃ
τῶν ἄλλων: ἀτὰρ αὐτὸς ἀκουέμεν αἴ κ' ἐθέλῃσθα
δησάντων σ' ἐν νηὶ θοῇ χεῖράς τε πόδας τε
ὀρθὸν ἐν ἱστοπέδῃ, ἐκ δ' αὐτοῦ πείρατ' ἀνήφθω
ὄφρα κε τερπόμενος ὄπ' ἀκούσῃς Σειρήνοιϊν.
δεῦρ' ἄγ' ἰών πολύαιν' Ὀδυσεῦ, μέγα κῦδος Ἀχαιῶν
εἰ δέ κε λίσσηαι ἑτάρους λῦσαί τε κελεύῃς
οἱ δέ σ' ἐνὶ πλεόνεσσι τότε δεσμοῖσι δεόντων


You'll first come to the Sirens, who enchant all men that come upon them.
Whoever comes in ignorance and hears the Sirens' voice,
his wife and little children don't ever stand beside him
or rejoice when he comes home.
So drive on past them. Knead honey-sweet wax and anoint your comrades' ears,
lest any of the others hear, but you listen if you'd like to.
Have them tie you on the swift ship by your hands and feet,
upright in the mast step, and let ropes be fastened from it,
so you can hear, and enjoy, the Sirens' voice.
Come here, much-praised Odysseus, great glory of Achaeans.
If you beg and bid your comrades to free you,
let them bind you then in more bonds.



Tanit goddess and Phoenician alphabet Phil Akashi

Phoenician Tanit goddess, London British Museum                                                               Phoenician alphabet 



Phoenician settlement remains Sa Caleta Phil Akashi

Phoenician settlement remains, Sa Caleta, Ibiza





Mystical Es Vedra



Es Vedra work in progress



Ibiza 2019