Ilona Kiss’ work is strongly influenced by dreams and nightmares, collective memory, and the question of place and belonging.
Her work is drawn to ambiguity and she is interested in the tension between the familiar and the weird, and the real and the imaginary. Darkness and a sense of sadness surface in her work. Kiss uses images from her dreams as a basis for her works, upon waking she makes notes and sketches of her nights visions. Kiss then makes a digital collage from her sketches, layering old photographs, found objects and stuff online which then informs her pencil drawings.
These simple pencil drawings are inspired by the space between sleep and wake. A realm that exists beyond even slumber-logic, dominated by strange visions and deeply resonant sensations, the details of which usually fade as soon as our conscious mind regains control.
Being able to understand and interpret dreams has been a fascination for people for years. Recognising her tendency towards images of a vintage quality, Kiss associates this in part with her desire to establish a sense of ‘other-worldliness’ within her work. That is, to offer spaces that seem tantalizingly real yet out of reach – testing our notion of reality and the limits of possibility. This interest may have begun in her childhood, growing up in Switzerland where she developed a fascination with native masks, tales and legends