An interview with Ilia Petrovic

After leaving Chelsea School of Art in 1995 and running a small successful interior design company, Ilia Petrovic began to increasingly focus on his first passion; painting. Ilia has now exhibited and sold his work internationally with his art currently on show in the Californian Aerospace Headquarters, Bulgari Hotel and Claridges in London. In this interview we discuss Ilia’s main influences, his background in interior design and which styles of art have increased in popularity for interior schemes.

What are some of the most influencing factors for your work?

I developed a fascination for colours and textures inspired by the effects of my synaesthesia when listening to music. More broadly I find inspiration in images from cosmology and microcosm, nature and cinematic special effects. I work on large canvasses, diptychs and triptychs, using acrylic and oils with varnishes and resins to create glossy multi layered flowing images on a matt background. The final effect is a volcanic three dimensional blown glass feel but in two dimensions. The intricate images formed can be interpreted in many personal and subjective ways. Whether vibrant or subtle I enjoy experimenting with colours and the way they combine to give the effect I am looking for.

More specifically, the inspiration for my latest collection, titled ‘Make A Wish’ comes from fleeting, unbeckoned, peripheral glimpses of the world around me, otherworldly and fairytale-like; the tension between the real and the make-believe.

I want to encourage the viewer to interpret these pieces in their own way; the closer you look the more you see.

Have these influences changed over time at all?

Yes, from simple geometric beginnings, it’s morphed in to the flowing and more organic images that you see now.

Below: Artwork by Ilia with Heathfield & Co lighting

How would you describe the overall style of your work?

Conceptual multilayered abstract art.

Your work has a very tactile approach in terms of material used and the processes involved. Could you tell us some more about this?

I am fascinated by multi layering processes, I am trying to achieve this quality through layering pigments in resins, the end result is part manipulated by me and part letting the process take its course.

Before focusing on painting, you ran your own interior design company. Has this in any way influenced the way you approach painting?

In the early days (17 years ago) it was true to say I was heavily influence by my work in interior design. Over time, with experience, I find it’s a more emotional process, I’ve learnt to trust my gut reaction and go with what feels right.

Which styles of art do you think have increased in popularity for featuring in interior schemes?

I think tribal art, prints, photography and works made with reclaimed items, usually pieces that have a natural feel.

You have had your work featured in a range of newspapers, magazines, television programmes etc. Are there any other publications or mediums that you would love to have your work featured in?

I would like to exhibit in a public gallery, it would be interesting to see what people would think of my work.

Which galleries or events do you enjoy attending?

It’s hard to say, I’ve been to many (I’m a serial exhibitionist) and I get something different from each. Most recently were Frank Auerbach and Ai Wei Wei exhibitions, they were both incredible. Also photography by Bob Mazzer and Vivian Meier.

Which Heathfield & Co lighting designs would you pair with one of your current paintings?

I have three ideas, the first is big and bold, the second and third are understated and more suitable for a domestic interior.

Finale By Luum with ‘Swimming With Sharks’

Below: Finale, by Luum (View more on this installation)

Below: ‘Swimming with Sharks’ (View more on this piece)

Antero Antique table lamp with Conniston Pendant in Antique Brass with ‘The Circus Ring’

Below: Conniston pendant in Antique Brass (View more on this product)

Below: ‘The Circus Ring’ (View more on this piece)

Grace Moire in Teal with the ‘Blue Angel’ limited edition framed print

Below: Grace Moire Teal (View more on this product)

Below: ‘Blue Angel’ (View more on this piece)

Below: ‘Blue Angel’ (View more on this piece)

What are your current favourite products in Heathfield & Co’s Signature Collection?

The Conniston in Antique Brass with the Grace Moire and Antero in Teal. I love the rich and bold statement when these are combined.

Grace Moire Teal Antero Teal


Conniston Antique Brass


For more information on Ilia visit