Illona was born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1954. Her father was a painter and her mother a potter. She started sculpting in clay at her mother's workshop at an early age and exhibited for the first time at the age of 17. On leaving college she opened her own gallery. Illona moved to the UK in 1979 living and working in Moray since 1986, where she continues to work in stoneware and bronze. She says "Over the years I've realized I can say more with less. So I strive with a few lines and curves to express a multitude of feelings and to let your imagination fill what I've left space for, to create peaceful sculpture which will continue to grow with you and me."