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Knokke-Heist: Head to the Belgian coastal resort for a spring cultural feast

15:37 18/03/2024
In association with Knokke-Heist tourism

Three stand-out artistic events at Knokke-Heist this spring underline the coastal resort’s reputation as a cultural hotspot.

Featuring artists from Belgium and around the world, they highlight the international perspective of the popular destination.

From dazzling photographs of foreign lands to contemporary artworks dotted along the coastline and a one-day immersion in cutting edge performance, Knokke-Heist is a shining artistic beacon.

Foto Knokke-Heist 23 March to 12 May

Foto Knokke Heist

Founded by curators Stéphane Verheye and Freddy Van Vlaenderen, Unknown Masterpieces is a platform for young and engaging talent.

Alongside the work of 10 emerging Belgian photographers, Foto Knokke-Heist showcases a new series of photographs by Maroesjka Lavigne (pictured, above and below).

Since her first participation in the event in 2014, the award-winning Ghent artist has become a leading figure in the photography world. This year’s edition is an opportunity to explore her beautiful images in the show Someone, Somewhere, Sometime.


Fascinated by constantly-changing landscapes, Lavigne travelled to remote places in Namibia, Iceland, Argentina and the US to capture a series of stark landscapes. From desolate and snowy scenes to the blossoming of spring, she searched for that fleeting point when colour, light and subject matter all merged into a stand-out moment. Haunting portraits and animal scenes set against evocative landscape backgrounds are similarly stunning works.

Visitors can also discover a wide range of photographic styles among the rising talents on show: Abdul-Vahit Duman, Anaïs Gamme, Barbara Vandendriessche, Femke Neys, Jef Bex, Kenny Ros, Margot Vervust, Philippe Digneffe, Sylvia Konior and Valérie Naessens.

Scharpoord Cultural Centre, Maxim Willemspad 1, Knokke-Heist

Beaufort24  27 March to 3 November


The highly-anticipated 8th edition of the Triennial by the Sea sees 18 new monumental artworks by Belgian and international artists springing up along the Belgian coastline. Joining 42 permanent installations from previous editions, they create the most impressive and largest display of outdoor public art in the country.

Each artist and work has been carefully selected for the chosen locations, which include inland sites as well as seafront. Many can be viewed from the popular coastal tram that scenically links towns, villages, ports, dykes and rural areas.

Eight of the new works are set to become a permanent fixture beyond the duration of the art festival, which takes place every three years.

Barry Flanagan

For the new edition, Beaufort24 reflects its North Sea setting by rooting itself in the notion of natural connections. ‘Fabric of Life’ was the starting point for the artworks, a common thread that also explores the human relationship with public space.

These unique installations present myriad points of view, whether located in a rolling sand dune, a tranquil farmland spot, windswept beach, a nondescript roundabout or a coastal lighthouse.

Among the Belgian contingent of artists is Filip Vervaet and Maëlle Dufour (at De Panne), Jef Meyer (Middelkerke-Westende) and Johan Creten (Koksijde-Oostduinkerke). International names include Selva Aparicio from Spain and Alexandra Bircken from Germany (at Nieuwpoort), Ghent-based Taiwanese artist Pei-Hsuan Wang (De Haan-Wenduine) and Lucy and Jorge Orta (Middelkerke-Westende), respectively from the UK and Argentina.



This one-day happening explores cutting-edge and experimental visual expression in the fabulous setting of the Grand Casino Knokke. The 4th edition is a continuation of the event’s extraordinary multidisciplinary programme blendings international contemporary art, dance and musical performances. Once again it is curated by WIELS contemporary art center in Brussels.

The line-up kicks off with a screening of Michael Snow’s legendary film Wavelength, a masterful exploration of the nature of perception (pictured above). It’s followed by a performance by Eleanor Ivory Weber, which is conducted through scored and improvised experiments in text and voice, alternating spoken and sung language. 

Margaux Schwarz’s new play explores the notion of backstage by foreseeing discreet or even invisible service and control devices (pictured below). France-based Greek artist Lenio Kaklea has conceived a new solo performance specifically for the event, combining sources from painting, poetry, pop culture, and queer repertoires.

Margaux Schwarz, INSTRUCTIONS-Red Comfort, Sugar for the Pill, 2022

Belgian drummer Lander Gyselinck follows Nafaq, the dance duo from Cairo formed by Amina Abouelghar and Hanin Tarek. Together, they present an improvised adaptation of the dance piece Extending Further, a journey through the conflicting powers of connectedness and distance between the dancers’ moving bodies and the audience.

In one of two video installations, London based artist Ufuoma Essi explores the relationship between our collective experience with music, history, and the act of reclamation in All That You Can’t Leave Behind. The second work is a new creation with uncanny and hallucinatory figures by Hagar Tenenbaum and Irina Jasnowski Pascual.

Finally, a series of photographic archives of the 1974 EXPRMNTL festival curated by Xavier Garcia Bardon offers a glimpse into the history of experimental film and art that was hosted by the landmark casino from 1947 to 1974.

Grand Casino Knokke, Zeedijk-Albertstrand 509

Photos: (main image Safety Post by Ghent-based architecture firm Compagnie-O in collaboration with Dutch architect and visual artist John Körmeling; Photo by Maroesjka Lavigne; photo by Maroesjka Lavigne; Beaufort, Hospitality by Barry Flanagan ©Knokke-Heist tourism; Art books Michael Snow Wwavelength; Margaux Schwarz, INSTRUCTIONS-Red Comfort, Sugar for the Pill, 2022


Written by The Bulletin in association with Knokke-Heist tourism