Artist’s Inspiration: Rukhsar Jaffer

A dark wooded forest in the background. White overlay text reads Artist's Instpiration: Rites of Passage

We invited local artists to respond to the theme of Rites of Passage as part of our Wall of Art series, a quarterly juried art show produced in partnership with Guelph Arts Council. The submissions received were incredibly varied, as each artist brought a truly unique perspective to the theme. For this blog series, we asked the artists to share their inspiration and the story that their piece tells.

Rukhsar Jaffer- Rice of Passage

Rukhsar Jaffer is a self-taught freelance photographer who is often involved with non-profit organizations. She is an artist member of the Guelph Arts Council (GAC) and is also a part of GAC’s Communications and Members Committee.

Puns and alternative perspectives inspire much of her art. Alongside the more “artsy” shots, Rukhsar also photographs sporting events, performances, parties, and weddings; although in her opinion, “art” is involved in all these shots.

She believes in helping people capture their special moments. You’ll often find her saying “Picture that!” short for “Let’s take a picture of that!”

Rukhsar has photographed events including Canadian Ismaili Games, DesiFest, PanAm games, and Doors Open Guelph. She enjoys photographing the candid action and emotions of teams like the Royal City Roller Girls, bands like Delhi2Dublin, and last but not least, capturing the love and traditions at weddings.

Her work has been published in The Ismaili Canada Magazine, and numerous online platforms. Rukhsar’s work has previously been featured in various Wall of Art series and has been a part of the Group Exhibition of Artists presented by ART@ebar here in Guelph.

In the current Wall of Art: Rites of Passage series, her piece, titled “Rice of Passage,” is a photo she shot at an Ismaili wedding in Toronto.

In the Indian culture, as the bride leaves her home she showers behind her handfuls of rice as a symbol of the prosperous and joyous way in which she lived and the prosperous and joyous life that she now walks into. The ceremony is filled with joy and sorrow, but it is an essential part of the bride’s journey into her new life.

Marriage being an important rite of passage in many cultures, and rice having an important role in various ceremonies throughout Indian weddings, Rukhsar thought the name “Rice of Passage” was picture-perfect.

When Rukhsar is not busy capturing moments, you can find her studying, knitting, reading, playing with children, or tweeting.

To learn more about her work visit:

Rice of Passage is on display at the Guelph Civic Museum until January 8, 2017. 

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Posted by Dawn Owen on October 31, 2016