exotic contemporary art

About Ilia

The succinct version

I was born in Sydney and spent my childhood in Papua New Guinea, Sydney and Canberra before relocating to the Gold Coast in 2000.

I have a degree in Industrial Design from the University of Canberra and participated in a student traineeship program at the Philips Industrial Design Division in The Netherlands. I was a sessional teacher at the Graphic Design Faculty at Griffith University, Gold Coast for a short period of time. I have had a 27 year career as a graphic designer, both as a freelancer and with several boutique agencies.

My artworks can be seen at  Coldstream Gallery, Ulmarra, and artloversaustralia.com.au. One of my pieces has adorned the walls of Victoria Parliament House and several are part of The National Museum of Erotica collection. Many are part of private collections.

I was a finalist in the 2016 Bald Archy Prize which toured nationally, 2017 Morris Art Prize,  2017 Global Art Awards, 2018 Border Art Prize and 2019 Art Lovers Australia Prize.

I held a solo exhibition at the Gold Coast Arts Centre Café  in 2013 and was a participant in the Blending Genders Exhibition at the Royal Queenland Art Society later that year. I also held a solo exhibition at Hillier Skuse Gallery in 2015. I was an exhibiting artist at ARTundressed, Miami Florida in 2017. I had my work published in 1340 Art Magazine 2018 and the 2013 Catalogue of the National Museum of Erotica. I have appeared on Colour in Your Life show.

Due to a chronic health condition, my heady days of high intensity creativity have slowed down considerably and while I still welcome commissions, they may take a little longer than usual. I still have art available for purchase at Art Lovers Australia and Coldstream Gallery, Ulmarra.

The rambling version

Who am I? Am I an alien, an artist, an explorer, a visual buccaneer, a scientist, a geek or spawn from another dimension? I often ask myself these questions, but have not found the answer just yet.

Clearly you didn’t visit this page to share my existential crisis, so I will attempt to stick to facts and let you decide for yourself.

I am not as young as I’d like to think I am, however they tell me you are only as old as you feel. I’d like to say that the Facebook algorithm is correct and I’m about 27… but that would be flexing the truth a little too far. Let’s just agree that I’ve clicked past the half century, but somehow failed to grow up. Do not attempt to guess my ethnicity from my name. It will only lead to tears. We can save that for small talk if I ever get to meet you.

On the note of small talk, I am proudly neuro-divergent and sit awkwardly on both the Autism Spectrum and ADHD maelstrom. This means it can be excruciatingly difficult to attempt small talk with me – hence my earlier proposal. I tend to plunge (rather enthusiastically) straight into the deep end, and before you know it, you may find yourself bombarded with possibly too much information as I pontificate on why it is possible that Nikola Tesla was the love child of both of Schroedinger’s Cats (there were definitely two of them). ADHD means any sustained conversation will be boisterous and ramble between rather tenuous tendrils of thought. Yes - I am a walking contradiction.

I’m digressing. Again… I apologise. I shall try to get to the point.

I am obsessive, focussed and experimental. My work ethic is relentless and I push myself beyond my limits (against doctor’s orders). I am happiest when I’m tortured and twisted with the challenge of my latest artwork. I am shy and awkward, and struggle to promote myself. I can be inappropriately loud and bouncy when I lose myself in the moment.  I have a fondness for small furry critters, paint fumes and Tom Waits (I wonder if they  are actually all the same thing?).