Nature/Nurture presents works that challenge our sense of self. Are we the sum of our biological material, shaped by of our physical bodies, sexuality, neurodivergence… or are we products of our upbringing and environment, the places we find ourselves in, the places we left behind? Where, at that nexus, if at all, lies control?
What happens when nature starts to reclaim those environments? Who are we when it comes to reclaim us?
Guest curated by Tilla Crowne, featuring works from artists Tilla Crowne, Emma Grant, Tzipporah Johnston, Anna Levy, Jacqueline Nicholls, Rekha Sameer and Gregory Steckelmacher.

Tilla Crowne

Concentrating on drawing and installation, Tilla’s work explores themes of identity, memory, sexual violence, and the body.  Largely autobiographical, she uses biological materials such as broken eggshells and living matter – plants, insects, fungus – as media, either drawing directly onto them or using them to transform objects and spaces.

Material fragments echo shards of memory. Fragile or ephemeral media are juxtaposed or layered with powerful images, and conventional display methods are inverted, revealing their inherent violence.

Born in Stoke Newington, Tilla lives and works in London.

Tzipporah Johnston

Tzipporah Johnston is an embroiderer and mixed media textile artist based in Edinburgh. Her work explores aspects of her identity as an autistic woman and her fascination with the natural world, while challenging the lines between ‘Art’ and ‘Craft’. She is founder of Neuk Collective and advocate for neurodivergent artists.

Jacqueline Nicholls

A London based visual artist, educator, and cultural events producer, Jacqueline Nichols is interested in writing. Specifically handwriting as a form of drawing. The line that traced the internal thought, mediated through the body, language transformed into a physical presence. Exploring the potential contained within the line, and how even when writing collapses and becomes illegible, it still calls to be read. This interest is informed by her Jewish heritage, a tradition that values scholarly word-play and textual interpretations as religious acts. Handwriting is her method of grappling with the patriarchal authoritative texts of the tradition, taking them in hand as a feminist critique.

She often uses a traditional Rabbinic text as a starting point, using my fine art practice to engage with a written tradition. Forming a relationship between between printed text, handwriting and drawing. Her interest in handwriting as drawing has led to explorations in touch, embodied language, the affect of the illegible trace, and the aura of absence. The work shifts between representational to abstraction as she considers the emotional potency of ambiguity.

The mind is thinking differently when the hands are busy making, and Nicholls is interested in how the physical materiality of the work affects abstract thought.  She has also deliberately chosen stereotypical feminine crafts to investigate how art can appropriate and subvert patriarchal traditions. The creative tension between her feminism and her ethnic, religious identity has been a key component of her practice.

Gregory Steckelmacher

Gregory Steckelmacher is a figurative artist whose work focuses on ideas of intimacy, sexuality and masculinity. His figures exhaust the space they are in, all the while confronting the viewer with their gaze, suggesting an ambiguity and ambivalence about them: are they proud of their circumstance, or trapped in a moment of vulnerability? Having previously worked primarily in pencil, the use of an encaustic medium (wax and resin) has enabled him to develop the texture in his pieces while still allowing for a focus on strong line work.


Emma Grant

Born and raised in Brighton, Emma now lives and works in North London. She fell in love with porcelain during 2002 whilst studying Applied Arts at Middlesex University. She has recently returned to ceramics after a ten-year hiatus, during which she started a family and adapted both her life and making process to living with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. She is passionate about working with porcelain and uses its properties to investigate the relationship between the fragility of her body and fragility of the material. She leaves the marks created through her making process on her work and adds scars and scratches to create the surface decorations, just as her condition continuously leaves its effects on her own body. Through making her work, Emma pushes against the limits of what is possible with the clay itself and uses her own body’s limits to inform her working practice.

Anna Levy

Anna Levy’s drawings and paintings explore space as entity in its relationship to light and mood.
Her works feature repetition which allows for subtle variations in mark making.
In the rhythm of lines, she introduces aspect of placement in space and time.
In the process she plays tacitly with the possibilities of transient moments of light and shadow, its appearance and disappearance, colour and its absence.
In search for lightness of touch and exploring connections between our inner and outer space her works are drawing on influence from Zen Buddhism, mysticism, Taoism and poetry.
In her works while mediums are independent from one another each merge in extension of one another subtly and intimately.
Her work is poetic and open ended.
An exercise of pure experience with her most immediate environment.
Anna Levy works in fields of drawing, painting, moving image and photography.

Rekha Sameer

Born in Bombay in a lower middle class brahmin family, a conventional treadmill was set in place. Brought up until eight by her aunt, childhood memories are of exploring looking for treasures, drawing on walls with pencil, paper boats in the gutter, fierce marble wars and good food from the kitchen.  Displaced at eight and back in the dysfunctional family of her parents started a decade of feeling lost, untethered confusion and lack of love. 

Always eager to draw and paint, yet being forced into a job secure course, she majored in Political Science. Rekha taught undergraduates and  it sparked her love for teaching. She managed to dodge the usual arranged marriage pattern and met her wonderful husband on a trek that she had sneaked out to! Getting married despite the disapproval from both their families, they moved to England in 2000. She enrolled into a foundation art course and worked part time to fund the course, then pursued an undergraduate and Masters degree in Fine Arts from Central St Martins, London.

The last two decades have been a lifetime of progress, evolution and meaning. Rekha has explored the different facets of being an artist using many different mediums and subject matters. She has expanded into curating her own exhibitions and hosting art residencies all over the world. she has taught art to undergraduates and secondary school students and mentored artists on her residencies. Rekha has tried pushing the boundaries of her comfort zone and uses writing as another medium of art.