Passionate about both art and the natural world from an early age, Ilka took studio drawing lessons as a teenager and then spent twenty years studying, researching, and teaching biology. She holds a Ph.D. in environmental biology and ecology and, at various times, has explored both environmental policy and law. Reflecting this multi-textured background, her art examines the world through a variety of overlapping lenses, from scientific-descriptive to critical, whimsical, and surreal. Working mainly in pencil and ink, she is fascinated by pattern, texture, and transformation, and by the way we as people relate to the non-human world.

Ilka is an Associate Signature Member of the Federation of Canadian Artists and has shown her art in various group and solo venues since 2015.