Aude Descombes

Mix Maxence

Une tête bien faite
Vue d’exposition
Vue d’exposition
La courbure des lignes

First row:



Une tête bien faite

Second row: View of the exhibition

Last row:

La courbure des lignes



The myth of Saint Maxence recounts how this 5th century Scottish princess flees her engagement to the pagan prince Avicin, crosses the English Channel and arrives in Gaul, where she fords the river Oise by throwing three stones into the water to make a bridge. Her suitor catches up with her and decapitates her. Maxence rises from the ground and carries her own head to a burial place which will become the present town of Pont Sainte-Maxence.

The inspiration for my residency was to mix elements of this story with my own memory and with my own experience of the Château de Sacy. In our imaginary world, attics are often places where ghosts are to be found, along with discarded furniture, dust mixed with seeds, the past with the future. An attic space conjures up a theatre or church, or even an upside down boat, such as the one Maxence used for her voyage from one reality to another. This is the space in which I chose to work and exhibit.

Looking for something to paint on, I found some left over materials from the château’s attic, mattress ticking, old curtains and nightgowns, worn out things with patterns and holes in them, which I mounted on frames. Birds and flowers, signs and symbols were allowed to accumulate on the canvas, even if they were only dust and seeds, blown in from the garden. Branches were arranged in a cross to suggest a fireplace or hearth, or the interlacing of languages, words woven in an embrace. The flags or coats-of-arms lead back to the Middle-Ages, offering visual access to lines of descent.

The idea was to take advantage of the pattern of the materials, contradicting or repeating them, crystallising them as fragments of time. Odd elements were gathered in a zigzag rhythm of sense and nonsense, to call upon ghosts, reveal structures, and be at the edge of the abstract. Ancient materials were stitched and patched together with others from Creil market, in order to synthesize periods and cultures, to seduce the eye by opening the curtains of a window on somewhere far away. To mix things with symbols was to throw stones in a river, weaving together periods was to create a bridge.

Aude Descombes

Translation: Hugo Williams

Previous Work

Cascade-4: (...)

Cascade-4: (...)

, 2016
Oil on paper, 151 x 245 cm
Claque des doigts

Claque des doigts

, 2015
Oil on paper, 175 x 148 cm
Cheval de Troie

Cheval de Troie

, 2014-2015
Oil on paper, 193 x 145 cm
Aude Descombes Born in Chamonix. Lives and works in Lyon. Web: Exhibitions and publications
Exhibition, la Mapra, Lyon. Participation in the exhibition

L’Attrape-couleurs manifestement!

, l’Attrape-Couleurs, Lyon. Participation in the exhibition

L’enfance revisitée

, La Remise, Pollionay.
Participation in the exhibition

Nuit d’ivresse

, la Villa Dutoit, Geneva. Presentation of the play/performance


in collaboration with Adeline Toulon. Participation in the festival

L’Art et la matière

, Drôme-Les-Collines.


exhibition in collaboration with Adeline Toulon, Church of Saint-Pierre de Charaix, Saint Christophe-et-le-Laris, Drôme.
Participation in the residency


, la Fonderie Kugler, Geneva. Presentation of the play/performance


in collaboration with Adeline Toulon.

Perspective mortelle

exhibition in collaboration with Claire-Lise Panchaud, la Friche Lamartine, Lyon.
Publication of the bilingual version of

La Vague

, French-Italian graphic novel by Lo Spettatore (translated by Sandrine Ravanel). Presentation of the work

De l’autre côté de la montagne

, Turin International Book Fair and Asti Fair, Italy.
Creation of

Le neuf

, an artistic work appearing every 3 months with form and content varying according to the viewing public. Collaboration with Claire-Lise Panchaud. Public activities
Workshop on the customisation of work clothing at the Salève Vocational School, Annemasse.
Teaching of painting to adults for the organisation Peindre à Sainte-Foy, Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon.
Running of weekly plastic arts workshops for children in the districts of La Caravelle and La Balme with the organisation Arts et Développement à Bron.
Monitoring of a project for students at Collège Mermoz in Lyon on the theme

Objets passeurs de mémoire

, including responsibility for the subsequent exhibition of their work.
Participation in a project constructing tanks from recycled materials for the Les Estivales festival, in collaboration with the artist Némo and local inhabitants from the Mermoz area in Lyon. Running of a weekly plastic arts workshop for children at MJC Laënnec-Mermoz in Lyon.
Running of workshops on plastic and language expression in collaboration with Jean-François Grassin at the Collège Théodore Monod, Bron. Work on the project

Les 10 mots de la Francophonie

with the Les Arpenteurs theatre company in Lyon. Creation of poetic posters with children and senior citizens. Education
DAEFLE (Teaching French as a Foreign Language), Alliance Française, Paris
DNAP (National Plastic Arts Diploma), École de l’Image, Poitiers
CEAP (Certificate in Plastic Arts), École Régionale des Beaux-Arts, Valence