Emilia Symis is a freelance artist and a BA(Hons) Fine Art graduate from Norwich University of the Arts. In 2019, Emilia was fortunate enough to have been shortlisted for the John Ruskin Prize and was awarded the winner of the Bishop’s Art Prize. Since graduating, she has exhibited in London, Manchester and local venues around Norwich. See Exhibitions for more. Emilia is now working as the Gallery Assistant at the Corn Hall in Diss.
‘I aim to make the viewer feel uncomfortable or confused when they observe my art; often my paintings initially look appealing or beautiful, but there is always something unpleasant or strange about the image that may make you think twice.’
Emilia is interested in the relationship between beauty and the grotesque and she explores this relationship using food. Recently, Emilia has based her paintings around a narrative, which allows the viewer to imagine the context behind the image. Often the painted scenes trigger memories within the viewer; her inspiration comes from dishes she finds in retro cookbooks and snacks from her own childhood. These connections make her artwork relatable and enjoyable to all ages.
Emilia has started to explore olfactory art and how scent can impact her paintings. These scents link to food within the artwork and can help to trigger a memory or enhance the painting. She has found that adding scent to her work engages the viewer in a much more direct way.
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
'A Feast for the Senses' - The Corn Hall, Diss
'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
Recent Graduate Exhibition, Battersea Spring Affordable Art Fair, Evolution London