Marie Hélène Richard

Marie Hélène Richard (FR)

Bois de poche


It could be said that there is no smoke without fire. Matches and tobacco go hand in hand. At the Tobacco Museum, a set of matches 24 times larger than the normal everyday size enter into a playful dialogue with the architecture of the venue. Surely, they have fallen from the pocket of a giant who must have regretted it.

The matches have their place in the museum because they accompany the pipe smoker, an endangered species, the fire lighter, who is almost extinct, and the small match vendor, who now only forms part of the world of the folktale…


This piece will be placed in the courtyard of the Tobacco Museum, which sits in the heart of the urban centre of the Parish of Sant Julià de Lòria.


Marie-Hélène Richard, a French and Swiss artist, has been positioning her work in the natural or urban landscapes of France and the rest of Europe for twenty years. Entering into dialogue with the place is essential for this architect of the poetic imagination. The simplicity of her shapes, the minimalism of their treatment, make for a message of lightness.

With a remarkable concept of space, the artist works with poor and extremely assorted materials, such as water bottles placed in a lake and painted bamboos arranged across the space. These works, which question man’s relationship with his environment, share the levels of the places in which they were created, which at times are monumental sites. The notion of time also forms part of the artist’s game, which is placed precisely in a specific space and time that can range from the most perennial to the most ephemeral, lasting just a few hours.