Ravinder Ruprai

Story by the artist.

British born East Indian artist, Ravinder Ruprai emigrated to Canada with her family in 1975.

Ruprai’s parents immersed themselves in textiles manufacturing in England and Canada. Ruprai grew up learning to sew on industrial sewing machines and being immersed in all things textiles. Ruprai pulled the concept of patterning into her paintings early on. Using beeswax as a way to build up texture and layering on her canvas surfaces, she incorporated block printing that was reminiscent of sari/fabric design. Her use of pattern was also evocative of the behavioural and psychological conditioning one becomes accustomed to—like energetic feedback loops.

Ravinder Ruprai. "Pattern Series" (detail). 1999. Acrylic, charcoal on canvas. 24x24". Courtesy of the artist.
Ravinder Ruprai. "Tree Code Series: B1". 1996. Acrylic, charcoal, tissue on canvas. 24x24". Courtesy of the artist.
Ravinder Ruprai. "The Oppressed" (detail). 1992. Acrylic, chicken wire on canvas. 60x43". Courtesy of the artist.

After graduating from McMaster University’s Fine Arts Program, Ruprai quickly immersed herself in Hamilton’s thriving art community.

Ruprai’s early work delved into her East Indian heritage and the dichotomies that exist around culture, society and emigration. Her personal experiences and childhood were fraught with tension, conflicts and prejudices that are common to most immigrants. More specifically, Ruprai’s work focussed on extracted realities about women, oppression, the push and pull of old world values and traditional demands and new world societal pressures. Ruprai focussed on topics such as oppression, violence against women, arranged marriages, and her Sikh upbringing.

Archive of Artist Works:

Credits and further readings

Instagram: Ravinder Ruprai

Other Suggestions

McMaster Studio Art Program