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Location: Quebec, Canada
Personal Email / Courriel
Website / Site web

Artist Bio or Statement / Bio de l’artiste ou la déclaration


Madeline Deriaz is the fourth generation of a family of Swiss photographers – photographers from father to son since photography was invented. She is the first woman in the dynasty to have published and exhibited her photographs and ten of them are part of the collection of the Musée de l’Élysée, the photography museum in Lausanne in Switzerland. But her favourite medium has always been drawing. When she was fifteen, she set up her first studio in the attic of her family home and began to learn to draw by copying works of the great masters. For her, drawing is as essential as eating and sleeping.

After studying visual arts at Arts décoratifs et aux Beaux Arts de Genève, Deriaz built a career as drawing teacher, typographer, graphic designer, illustrator, and gallery director. In November 1993, she immigrated to Quebec.

In 2000, she moved to Saint-Camille, a small community in the Eastern Townships, and returned to school, attending the University de Sherbrooke and the University de Montreal for a master’s degree and a doctorate, respectively. Her field of study was relatively new at the time: development of the elderly through the visual arts.

In 2008, she returned to making art as full time job and, while pursuing this career, she is involved in the artistic and cultural communities on the local, regional, and national levels.


The sources of my inspiration are situated mainly in the observation of subjects or natural phenomena found in daily life. I am not very interested in the spectacular.

My attention focuses on the little things that we see every day and that people pay no or scant attention to because they don’t take the time to stop and look at them. These are, for example, the reflections of light on moving water or in the smoke from a fire; the changing shadow of a tree on a building or a road; the cracks in parched earth; the structure of a rock or of flower petals; the infinite variety of cloud shapes, the arabesques drawn by the frost on the windows of my solarium…

My visual investigations develop from thematic research – particularly the four elements: earth, air, water, and fire.

In my creative approach, my goal is to express their hidden essence through a detailed exploration of their possible pictorial representations. I am particularly interested in the similarities found specifically in the respective graphic forms of these elements. These forms, these particular visual languages, both differentiate and connect them.