Tjaša Rener is a Slovenian figurative artist and printmaker based in Accra. After earning her Masters Of Fine Arts from the University Of Ljubljana where she was awarded a special merit prize, Tjaša moved to a remote village by lake Bosumtwi, situated over a meteorite impact crater, in 2013. For the next 3 years, she became part of a local community where she had her first real foray into the culture and its customs. As a figurative artist, she was naturally inspired to paint portraits of her fellow villagers. She also ran a successful Kickstarter campaign for an original picture book, A Story From Africa, which was presented at the Slovenian Biennale Of Illustration, and which she then published one year after.
In 2016, she settled in the capital, Accra, where she was initially astonished by the great economic divide. She found herself drawn to the people she came into contact with in her everyday life and to their systems of survival. This led her to develop her portraits into larger and more complex works combining various techniques and materials: xerox, printed fabric, found objects, screen prints, batik etc… Her work evolved into a hybrid of her formal training as a model painter and the culture she was immersed in, which was starting to pollinate her artistic vision. In 2017, she rented an artist’s studio in Dzorwulu in which she had an open door policy and where she held regular events: workshops, exhibitions, art talks…This introduced her to a community of diverse people, from her neighbours (business owners, employees, street hawkers, children, homeless people) to fellow artists and art enthusiasts. In 2020, she officially launched the Open House Studio, a creative space that served as an art cohabitation network, promoting creative exchanges and providing a platform to both established and non established artists. It was a godsend to many artists who otherwise didn’t have access to any platform that would agree to show their work. It was also open to children, and to the general public offering them a rare insight into the contemporary art scene.
In 2021, Tjaša kicked off the Tiniest Accra Gallery, an ongoing initiative whose aim is to expose street children to art, and to engage them creatively.