Ilona was born during WWII in Bath to a Hungarian mother and an Irish father. She grew up in the austere world of ration books and the sound of sirens.
Her education in the arts can largely be traced back to the time she spent with her maternal grandmother who lived in Vence in the South of France, with whom she often stayed in the school holidays.
In the early 1950’s there was a vibrant art scene in the region. Picasso lived and worked in the Provence at the time as did Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse and Jean Cocteau.
This early experience had a lasting effect on Ilona and the influence of these artists still remain evident in her work today.
Ilona’s work is not easy to categorise. She describes herself as an Outsider artist. Her paintings are imbued with Symbolism. Her work has evolved over the years into the style it is today. The imagery she uses reflects her dreams and memories.
Ilona was shortlisted in 2019 and 2020 for the international competition – The Wales Contemporary. She has exhibited her work in many venues in the UK including London, Oxford, Hereford, Monmouth, Brecon as well as galleries in West Wales, where Ilona is based. In 2009 one of her paintings was short-listed for the Channel Four Big Art competition.
In 2015 several of her paintings were bought by a renowned London art collector to hang in his house in the South of France.