The nationwide closure of the UK’s indoor cultural venues hasn’t stopped photographers from getting their work seen. In central London, Marco Kesseler has placed a series of photographs of English polytunnels, highlighting the importance of our natural environment and the hidden places where food is grown. Meanwhile, further north along the Victoria Line in Walthamstow, Jake Green has hung three photographs from his Kunywa Jasho Langu: Coffee Kenya series.
Each photographer closes the gap between the viewer and the locations where food is grown and picked. Kesseler’s “A Return to Nature” series were shot in South West England, capturing polytunnels which serve to blend the seasons to improve growing conditions for crops.
“The seasons are stretched and softened under the polythene skin and minute changes, which compound over time, transform the landscape as they develop creating its own cosmos.” says Kesseler.
“Layers of algae form over the weathered plastic, self seeded wildflowers establish themselves in the cracks of the structures and networks of animal nests are exposed as crops are changed.The work was produced at different stages throughout the annual cycle of planting, growing, harvesting and lying fallow; following both the passing of seasons as well as the changing relationship, where nature fights to establish itself within a cultivated plot.”
Green’s prints capture the more naturally warm climate in Kenya and look at the initial stages of the supply chain including picking, administrative trade centres and markets. “A New Era, An Ancient Brew” at FRANK ISON SPACE in Walthamstow curates a three of these.
As well as closing a geographical divide, each photographer has played a role in bridging the gap between the farming sector and metropolitan areas. Kesseler is supported by the Rural Commission organised by GRAIN, a collective of photographers who profile rural with rural communities across England’s Midlands region. Green’s Kenya travels were facilitated by coffee importer Nordic Approach, and London’s Workshop Coffee were involved his Coffee Kenya photobook launch in 2019.
“A Return to Nature” will be on view at Selfridges from 16th - 31st January. “A New Era, An Ancient Brew” will be on view at FRANK ISON SPACE until 7th February. Find Kesseler on Instagram via @marcokesseler and Green via @brthrjcb. Header Image: Marco Kesseler