Ravinder Ruprai

  • Fibre Arts
  • Film
  • Mixed Media
  • Painting

Ravinder has an Honours BFA from McMaster University. Upon graduating, Ravinder immersed herself in the arts community in Hamilton, including regularly exhibiting her work and volunteering on art committees. She worked at the Art Gallery of Hamilton from 1997—1999, broadening her exposure to national artists, public collections and art education.

Ravinder returned to painting and art-making after a ten year unplanned hiatus (2003—2013). During this time, and moving forward, she has devoted herself to raising three children and recovering from an aggressive form of cancer.

Ravinder’s unique voice is only one of few South Asian women producing art in Hamilton. Her work is autobiographical and is often series based. While working under the larger theme of the mind/body connection, Ravinder has spent the last few years focussing on and moving towards wholeness: mind, body and spirit. She explores various aspects of the mind/body connection throughout her work—trauma and energy medicine, meditation and mental health, memory and remembrance and neuroplasticity. Ravinder’s work addresses dysfunctional family systems, misogyny, racism, displacement as seen through the eyes of an immigrant, and what it means to be a woman of colour.

Ravinder is largely an abstract painter who works primarily in acrylics on canvas and paper. Her paintings often explore dichotomies—playing between micro and macroscopic, and biological and geological forms. She uses layers of pattern and texture, drawn from her South Asian heritage, combined with nature, the body and the landscape. Her use of colour is rich, bold and dramatic. Her work post cancer includes the circle—a symbol of totality and wholeness, of perfection, of sacredness.

The artist has recently been working with fabrics and fibre based materials creating more sculptural works. These are represented in Ravinder’s work titled, The Gold Box Series, an ongoing series since 2020. This series invites the viewer into the artist’s stories as a survivor of trauma. The gold borders of each shadow box isolate fragments of a personal reflection of intersectional experience. Ravinder’s use of an intimate voice and scale captures invisible systems—racial, patriarchal, systemic…She isolates and intergrates—painting, braiding, writing, gilding and framing in the representation of those systems as they are prescribed both upon the body and in the body. Ravinder is a first generation immigrant, born in England and migrating to Canada in 1975. Her parents owned their own textile manufacturing factories in both countries. Her use of pattern and ‘textiles’ echoes this backdrop. Ravinder also uses ‘stitching’ in her paintings and fibre works, referencing both her childhood environment and also as a recognition of the extreme medical procedures she has undergone. 


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