“My drawings are created associative. When I take a look in my paint box, it is as if a colour asks me to be used. That crayon is the one I use for my first lines. Soon after this, an image is created out of these lines. I can see a landscape, a wave, a person, a face, animals. Those things that I see, are what I create in respond. While I am drawing, a story comes to life. Thoughts come to the surface. Sometimes the meaning behind the images that are created becomes clear while I am drawing, however most of the times the meaning surfaces on the next day. In addition, the drawings give me the feeling that I have found the right puzzle piece of the puzzle of life that I am trying to unravel. A never-ending flow of information appears after every drawing. It makes me curious for the next drawing.
The train and its tracks are reoccurring subjects in my drawings. I view these subjects as the symbols of time. Take a look at the historic steam locomotive: the symbol for the beginning of the Industrialization. It is what initiated the distance between nature and humans. It is what helped humans do terrible things. The bulbar pushes everything that is in front of the train, off the rails. There is no escaping. Time flies by. The trumpet in my work represents the sound, noise, questions of others, distraction. Animals can represent themselves, but most of the time they represent man and its actions. A goose flies over her eggs, the future that she protects. She symbolises the positive power that is needed for our survival. In the background, you can see ice floes of the melting water from the glaciers.
I use fables to conceptualize my surprise over the actions of man. I find my inspiration in my job as a counsellor in a nursing home, my family life and the world.
A selection of drawings is granted the honour of being painted. I paint the drawings as faithful to the drawing as possible, with all its details. However, the ambience is different. It is my objective to let the power of the drawings manifest differently when they are being painted. Not intuitively, like the manifestation of the drawings themselves, but as a signal: as insurmountable, energetic and an articulated statement.”
In Ilona’s sculptures we can see a reflection on society as well as question marks she has about the relationship of humanity with its surroundings. In this relationship she sees contradictions she loves to express in aesthetic forms. However, at the same time she finds the relation questionable and problematic. She adores the shapes of cooling towers although they serve an industry that might destroy us. The smoke form the chimneys give her an excellent opportunity to create amorphous shapes. Traffic jams form colourful strings through the scenery. The bunker often returns in her work. Bunkers fascinate Ilona: they are strange forms in a landscape. They are in contrast with their natural environment, looking at their robust shapes and war histories. The Colosseum is also a recurrent theme in her work. It shows up in her sculptures over and over again, in a simplified form. Like a fragment of The Tower of Babel with its babylonian confusion of speech. Animals symbolize mankind like in a fable when they appear in her work.
Ilona graduated at the Royal Academy of art in The Hague as monumental designer. She teaches fine arts besides her job as an activity-coordinator in a nursing home. In the latter, a couple of questions make her wonder. For example: who is this dependent person that has to live in a nursing home for the rest of their life? How does our society treat these people? It is in these kind of questions that Ilona finds contradictions, which she looks at as challenges to portray in her work.