France

Arnaud Dubarre

Arnaud Dubarre was born on 6 June 1981 in Fontenay le Comte(France). He has suffered since birth from multiple ankylosis, rendering his arms and legs immobile. He learned early on to use his mouth for everyday tasks. His love for painting developed when he was able to hold a crayon in his mouth and began to trace comic strip characters. After the third year of secondary school, he joined a so-called ‘cycle adapte’ class, in which he did practical exercises accompanied by educational support. This included painting on wood, glass, fabric, leather and other materials. In 1999, through family connections, he became acquainted with VDMFK President Serge Maude, who introduced him to his work and to the VDMFK. Just two years later, the Association decided to support him as a Scholarship Holder. 

Lénaïc Leger

Born on 2 November 1973 in Blois, Lénaïc Leger has no arms, the right foot is joined to the thigh and the left foot is not fully developed, from birth. She started painting even before her school life. She taught herself the techniques of painting. In February 1987, she started taking painting lessons. She became a Student Member of VDMFK in 1988 and an Associate Member in 2009. Lénaïc uses different media but predominantly oil and watercolour. The artists’ preferred themes are flowers, but she also does landscapes and animals. The theme of the coastal landscape of Normandy created as highly expressive rocky landscapes in combination with lighthouse, cloud formation and flower fields, is her speciality. These paintings clearly show her fondness for details.

Henri-Clairy Hembert

The arms and hands of Henri-Clairy Hembert were paralyzed right from birth. Born on 4 July 1969 in Abbeville, due to complications during birth he is only able to clearly express himself with great difficulty. For this reason, he has made every effort to use his feet instead of his hands since his early childhood years. At the age of four, he began to paint with both feet, which is why Henri-Clairy Hembert is said to be an autodidactic artist. During his youth, he spent several years at the Institute for Motor Training in Amiens. He was also admitted to hospitals in Paris several times. He later received his diploma in computer accounting from a vocational secondary school.

Elodie Cazes

Born on 3 April 1979 in Agen, Elodie Cazes immigrated to New Zealand together with her family at the age of twelve. There she suffered a fracture of the cervical vertebrae at C1 and C6 when she hit head-first into a shallow pond. This injury resulted in her limbs becoming paralysed. During her stay at the hospital, she learned to paint with her mouth in the course of a therapy programme. She came to enjoy it very much. Later on, the mouth painting artist returned to France. She became a Student Member of VDMFK in the year 1997.

Fanny Bourgeois

Since birth Fanny Bourgeois has been suffering from arthrogryposis, making her unable to use hands and legs.  She was born on 18 June 1976 in Paris. From early childhood on she has been using her mouth for the tasks of daily life, and for playing, painting and drawing. She received standard school education, completed grammar school and took her A levels. As her talent manifested itself when she was quite young, her parents decided to enrol Fanny at an art college. Simultaneously, she pursued communication studies and this is the field where she is working at present. At the tender age of nine, in 1985, she received a scholarship from the association.

Pierre Bellot

Born on 8 November 1968 in Paris, Pierre Bellot was without arms by birth. From an early age on he was forced to use his mouth or foot for many daily activities. He spent a long time at a rehabilitation centre where drawing became one of his hobbies. His artistic talent as a mouth and foot painter soon became evident. In 1986 the Association granted him a scholarship. This enabled Pierre Bellot to intensify his painting activities. In his house, he has furnished a studio that is his retreat and where he can freely pursue his creative painting. In 1999 Pierre Bellot had to undergo surgery of the hip. Since then he has been painting with his mouth only. In 2000 he was admitted to the Association as an Associate Member.

Serge Maudet

Serge Maudet was born on February 1, 1954, in Roussay. His hands and legs have been paralysed since birth. Already as a child, his mother taught him to use his mouth and to hold a pencil between his teeth. “I was born with a brush between my teeth. Painting was my first means of expressing me. As a child I painted the things that I could not do and that became the tool for expressing my feelings”, says the artist. Late in life, he decided to dedicate himself fully to drawing. At the age of 22, he received a scholarship from the Association. In 1983 he became a Full Member of the VDMFK. In October 2002 he was elected as the Member of the Board on the occasion of the general meeting in Lisbon. In July 2013, on the occasion of the General Meeting in Vienna, the members elected him to the President’s Office of the Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists of the World.

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