Emilia Symis is a BA(Hons) Fine Art graduate from Norwich University of the Arts. Emilia has worked on a number of commissions since finishing her A Levels, including work for artist, Serena Hall, Burmese Sauce company, Bala Chang and musician, Vincent Knight. During her degree at NUA, Emilia has been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to exhibit in various shows across Norwich. Some of which were based on campus and gave her the chance to practice exhibition instalment, organisation and curation. However, she has also exhibited in local galleries, like Fairhurst and Nunnsyard and within the John Innes Centre. Straight after Emilia completed her degree in 2019, she won the Bishop's Art Prize. She was selected by her course leader to exhibit at Free Range in London and was chosen as a finalist for the John Ruskin Prize. See Exhibitions for more. Emilia is now working as the Gallery Assistant at the Corn Hall in Diss.
Emilia Symis is interested in portraying opposites in her work, in particular the relationship between seduction and repulsion. Colour and texture are important tools for how she captures this with paint. Emilia finds that she is drawn to the natural combined with the unnatural, whether that is through subject or concept. There tends to be a theme of food and ingestion throughout her work, everyone has a unique relationship with food and she likes how the art therefore means something different to everyone. Emilia aims to make the viewer feel uncomfortable or confused when they observe her art, often her paintings initially look 'beautiful', but there is always an unpleasant or sinister element amongst it's beauty. Emilia paints in a realistic style; the viewer therefore isn't fooled or distracted by any abstract painting techniques, which makes the concept clearer. Emilia has recently started to explore the power of scent in her art, and has begun to apply pleasant or unpleasant scents to her paintings to help emphasise the seductive or repulsive elements within the imagery. She has found that adding scent to her work engages the viewer in a much more direct way and she has found it interesting to see the impact it has on the painting and also the viewer.
2011 - 2016
Stowupland High School
2016 - 2019
Norwich University of the Arts
Winner of Bishop's Art Prize
Finalist in the John Ruskin Prize
'Razzle Dazzle' - Nunnsyard
'Botanical Response', John Innes Centre, Norwich
'Arouse', Fairhurst Gallery, Norwich
NUA Degree Show, Norwich
Bishop's Art Prize: 'Streams in the Desert', Norwich
Free Range, The Truman Brewery, London
John Ruskin Prize: 'Agent of Change', Holden Gallery, Manchester
'Feasting on Femininity', Les Fêtes Galantes, London