Emilia Symis is interested in portraying opposites in her work, focusing on the relationship between seduction and repulsion. Colour and texture are used to capture this with paint. Emilia is inspired to the natural combined with unnatural, whether that is through the 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 means something different to everyone.
Symis aims to make the viewer feel uncomfortable or confused when they observe her art. Often her paintings initially look ‘beautiful’, but there is inevitably an unpleasant or sinister element amongst its beauty. She paints in a realistic style; the viewer, therefore, is not fooled or distracted by any abstract painting techniques, which makes the concept clearer.
Symis has recently started exploring the power of scent in her art. She has applied 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 more direct way, and is interested to observe the impact it has on the painting and the viewer.