Arts & Culture

Jaro Artist Feature: The Distinctive Journey Of Marie-Denise Douyon

The nomadic lifestyle of Marie-Denise Douyon is reflected heavily in the artist's work.

Artwork Archive

Marie-Denise Douyon, a Canadian fine artist with Haitian roots, began a life of migratory journeys. Growing up in North Africa, first in Algeria and then Morocco, her unique childhood experiences were meshed with distinctive artistic expressions and multicultural identities, which shaped her into the artist she is today.

This drifting, nomadic lifestyle is deeply reflected within her paintings, where dislocation is a common theme. Observing the work of Douyon urges its viewers to gain a sense of awareness of the fusion between African cultures, particularly within the context of contemporary artistic expression.

The Bridge of Suffering (2016) Spray Paint and Acrylics on Canvas

Obstinacy II (2016) Spray Paint and Acrylics on Wood

Furthermore, her artwork often reflects her concerns for the socio-environmental disasters continuously threatening our planet. Utilizing recycled materials within her work, Douyon tackles issues such as global warming, the export of dangerous waste, and the flight of environmental refugees. Her inspiration stems from her roots in Haitian culture. Combining her artistic talents with her passion for recycling, Douyon pays tribute to the affluence of a traditional society countered with a cultural heritage in danger of extinction.

Aqua Questioning (2015) Mixed Media
Aqua Questioning (2015) Mixed Media







“This piece is made from recovered cut panels of architectural models and is influenced by African geometric patterns,” said Douyon about Aqua Questioning. “Playing with depth and overlapping shapes, I recall the pattern of Massai Fabrics, on the left side, a Massai figure stands alone suggesting the exodus and survival of traditional African society. I focus my artistic approach on environmental issues. My concern for the socio-environmental disasters, which threaten our planet, have led me to create a series of contemporary unique works from discarded and recycled materials or found objects.”

As an international artist, Marie-Denise Douyon’s artwork has been exhibited in Canada, the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean. Douyon earned her fine arts degree from New York City’s Fashion Institute of Technology, and currently resides and works in Montreal, Quebec. View more of Douyon’s work at her website.

Ayanna Nicole

Hi! I’m Ayanna, a 26-year-old writer and artist. Although I graduated from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte with two degrees in art and psychology, I’ve had a passion for writing for as long as I can remember. By following my dreams and utilizing my creativity, I designed Jaro Magazine with the ultimate intention of bringing more positive stories in the black community to the forefront, while also highlighting our versatile and vibrant culture through Jaro’s four modes: film, books, art, and music. I’m into spirituality, nature walks, music festivals, poetry, traveling without a destination in mind, painting, and discussing everything out of the ordinary with other curious minds. Also, I'm an INFP!

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