'I Can Hear It,' an installation by artist Ivars Drulle on the beach by the villages of Middelkerke and Westende, Belgium
© Arterra Picture Library/Alam
Listening to the sea
Two enormous horns like those of old-fashioned gramophones are pointed toward the North Sea along this stretch of the Belgian coast. At the end of one of the horns, a bronze figure of a woman sits on a bench, seemingly listening to the distant sounds of the sea, while the other horn invites a visitor to do the same. The woman's old-fashioned clothing, the outsized bolts on the horns, and the fluted gramophone-like design all echo the Belle Époque style once prevalent here on the Flemish coast.
The horns and bronze statue are an art installation called 'I Can Hear It' by Ivars Drulle. It was first placed here on the beach in 2004 for Beaufort04, the second edition of the Triennial of Contemporary Art by the Sea. Every three years, seaside villages on the Belgian coast unveil works of art for the beachgoing public to enjoy. Many of the installations become permanent fixtures, like this one. The next edition of the event, Beaufort21, begins today, May 27, and lasts until November 7, 2021.