Ilona Szalay graduated from MA Fine Art at Central Saint Martins in 2001.
Since graduating, her work has been exhibited at numerous galleries including the Royal Academy, Rebecca Hossack, Transition, Standpoint and Whitfield Fine Art.
In 2013 she won the Italian contemporary art prize ORA. Her work was also selected as one of the six finalists for the prestigious Threadneedle Prize, and she was chosen for the Barbican Arts Open Exhibition.
In addition, Ilona was selected as one of the fourteen worldwide artists to invest in, by Rebecca Wilson, head curator at Saatchi Art.
Ilona, who has become renowned for her trademark oil on glass paintings, has featured in many international publications including Wall Street International magazine, The Independent, The Times and Dazed and Confused magazine.
What was the most important thing you were taught whilst studying at UAL?
I had exceptional teachers during my time at UAL. I learnt many things of course but one or two stand out as particularly important. Firstly and most importantly I was taught to value my own creative voice, by which I mean that I began to understand that I have a unique form of creative expression, and how to evolve and develop it.
Secondly, that this creative ‘voice’ can only exist within the complex context of what has come before and will contribute to what comes after – the interdependence of all creative acts upon each other.
How do you think your time at UAL has impacted your life and work?
It had a huge impact as it made me take myself seriously as an artist and allowed me to begin to think of myself in those terms. I learnt a lot from a technical point of view as well as an academic one.