ILLONA MORRICE was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, to artist parents. The family soon moved to Australia, but returned to Denmark when Illona was in her teens. Her mother being a potter and her father a painter, she grew up in a workshop, literally with clay in one hand and a brush in the other, exhibiting for the first time at the age of seventeen. On leaving college, she opened her own gallery/studio in Copenhagen, known as "Billed Mageries" and she exhibited her work in a number of national exhibitions.
Having married a Scot, she moved to England, and settled eventually in Scotland. She is now well known throughout the country for her expressive sculpture. Illona keenly observes real life situations, quickly sketching ideas and transferring them to sculptural forms in a spontaneous manner. There is often humour in her work and subtle characterisation.
She has carried out a number of commissions including a piece for Woodend Hospital, Aberdeen, entitled "The Woodend Visitors" which features an array of people on a hospital visit. Placed at the main entrance to the hospital, this is enjoyed by staff, patients and visitors.
Illona is a keen mountaineer and spends many days on the Scottish hills both summer and winter and can often be seen rock climbing on sea cliffs near her home in Moray. The rocks and mountains give great inspiration to many of her sculptures. She describes the natural weathering of the stones and rocks as a constant source of wonder.
In the last few years her work has become more abstract, pared down to the essentials. Some work is produced in bronze, in limited editions or one offs; others are in stoneware, sometimes painted, which are all one offs. Recently she has been carving in soft stone, creating unique hand carved and hand polished sculptural pieces.