Born in the far west of Cornwall, Iona Sanders grew up on the Cape, and its striking landscape has a strong and continuing presence in her work. While not wishing to project a 'Cornish' image, Sanders recognises the great heritage of the land she draws from and is extremely proud of, as she says, "it's within me".
Coming from an artistic background, Sanders has said she simply can't imagine not creating. She has developed her style organically while studying then raising a family, and through much dedication and artistic development, is now established in her practice, working between two studios.
She is highly responsive to her surroundings, selecting objects form her everyday environment and imbuing them with a quietly observed dignity and grace of form. The objects chosen speak about the artist's life as much as she conveys their reality to the viewer. Sanders establishes a minimal composition; a single cup is elevated to sole subject, its character defined, and its simplicity expanded. In the absence of extra subject matter, she is free to explore the intimate scene. Basic formal components like line and tone are fully realised and Sanders' use of colour-balancing muted tones with brilliant primaries is highly adept. There is a bold naivety to her paintings that shows a confidently developed style, and her work is saturated with a warm vibrancy even when a cool palette dominates. Rarely have such quiet pictorial scenes fizzed with energy.