Ravnikar Gallery Space defies Covid crisis with new projects

Ljubljana – Cultural manager and artist Piera Ravnikar is defying the Covid crisis, as the onset of the epidemic coincided with the closure of her Ravnikar Gallery Space in Ljubljana, to which she responded by reopening it in her own home. Now she is launching another project, a gallery called R Space, scheduled to open on Wednesday.

Piera Ravnikar’s small private gallery Ravnikar Gallery Space was launched in 2017 in Prešernova Street in Ljubljana, showcasing young and up-and-coming artists with a mission to present urban, contemporary art to the broader community and potential buyers.

But during the first wave of the Covid-19 epidemic, it suddenly became clear that the small gallery, where a new exhibition was arranged once a month, would have to close down.

Piera Ravnikar did not give up. She said she had previously thought about converting her living space into a gallery: “I was thinking about whether I should look for a new space, where rents and an uncertain future would be a problem again, or try to think boldly in step with the times.”

At the end of last summer, she started to redesign her apartment, symbolically located in Ljubljana’s cultural quarter. Half of the apartment has been transformed into a gallery space with an artwork depository, the other half into a residential space.

Due to the second wave of the pandemic, the renovation was delayed a bit, and the first exhibition in the new Ravnikar Gallery Space opened at the beginning of this year.

Access to the gallery is by appointment only, a practice which has proved to be successful during the epidemic: “We mostly get individual visits, but we also regularly receive international visitors and small groups of students from art academies,” said Ravnikar.

This also enables a kind of natural selection among visitors: “Dialogue is more genuine and personal, as visitors are not in a hurry, so you have time for a presentation that would be more difficult in a public space due to the constant flow of people. Very interesting stories are being written here.”

Meanwhile, Ravnikar Gallery Space is also preparing for the opening of their new gallery R Space in the centre of Ljubljana this week, intended for the youngest generation of artists, their self-discovery and the development of their own art practice, mainly in painting, drawing and sculpture.

This new artistic initiative is being developed in collaboration with the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU), scheduled to open on Wednesday with an exhibition by artist Janja Kosi.