A Return to Nature

An exhibition for Oxford Street, featuring the work of photographers
Cameron Bensley and Marco Kesseler

Words: Chekii Harling, Photography: Cameron Bensley and Marco Kesseler

As London’s streets remain hushed in the quiet of (hopefully our last) lockdown, nature is returning to the inner city with our unique exhibition of work by photographers Cameron Bensley and Marco Kesseler, seen across our Oxford Street windows and brought to life here in a digital walkthrough. 

Join us to dive into the work of the photographers and explore how their images celebrate the beauty of our natural world, our connection with it and how we might protect our earth from the effects of climate change.



Last year, University of Derby’s Professor Miles Richardson and the National Trust conducted a study which revealed that awareness and appreciation for nature rose by 46 per cent over the UK’s summer lockdown period, with many choosing to spend more time in the great outdoors. “Noticing nature can not only bring significant improvements to our mental health, but also to nature’s wellbeing,” says Professor Richardson, “as those who are tuned into nature will do so much more for it.” Our reconnection with nature during these difficult times is how the idea for the Return to Nature exhibition began.


Cameron Bensley is a London-based photographer who also works in-house as a fashion photographer at Selfridges. When he’s outside of the studio, Cameron can be found exploring immense natural structures across the globe, capturing visual stories that simultaneously explore the immeasurable power of the natural world and the devastating impact of climate change. In these images, we see glaciers wrapped in protective sheeting – a striking representation of the efforts being made to help battle the effects of global warming.

Rhaeadr y Graig Lwyd, Snowdonia 2016. Photographed by Cameron Bensley

The Coedydd Maentwrog forest, situated in Snowdonia in Wales is a really ancient piece of land untouched in the non-mining areas – there is something about this image which has a massive force within it. When shooting my landscape images, I always travel alone – it’s an intimate, personal experience and a chance for me to build a connection with the landscape itself. It was turbulent weather a lot of the time, so I’d often have to sit up the mountain until it cleared up.

Rhaeadr y Graig Lwyd, Snowdonia 2016. Photographed by Cameron Bensley

This was captured near one of the summits I was trying to climb, I remember seeing the tree stump and thinking how the moss looked so still and beautiful. I wanted to capture the essence of the bare, raw materials found in nature.

Rhaeadr y Graig Lwyd, Snowdonia 2016. Photographed by Cameron Bensley

I just love the different colours and the textures and how dark the trunks of the trees are compared to the oranges and greens at the top, there is something quite enchanting about it. I hope my landscape images instil a sense of wonder and excitement for what the natural world is and can be.

Rhone Glacier, Switzerland 2017. Photographed by Cameron Bensley

My photography aims to reveal the impact of climate change on each of the environments I shoot; I took these glacial images at the starting point of the Rhone River which feeds into Lake Geneva, the glacier has been covered by thermal blankets to reduce the impact of melting caused by global warming.


Marco Kesseler is a documentry and portrait photographer based in the south-west of England whose work is grounded in social narraratives. In this observational series shot in several commercial agriculture spaces, from Devon to the Midlands, Marco plays on the juxtapositions between the clinical plastic polytunnels and the surrounding untamed natural world, revealing the hidden landscape where our food is produced.

Asparagus, May 2020. Photographed by Marco Kesseler

This was the first picture I took before I spent a lot of time in these spaces. Originally, I was interested in how uniform the polytunnels are on the outside which contrasted to the fact that you could enter very different worlds on the inside.

Ash tree, August 2020. Photographed by Marco Kesseler

Being a farmer is a race against time because so much attention is focused on growing the crops and this is one of the side effects. This Ash tree breaking through the polytunnel is a beautiful symbol of nature continuing despite all the plastic rubbish that we leave behind.

Willow, August 2020. Photographed by Marco Kesseler

The leaves stuck to the plastic with the morning condensation gives this image and ethereal quality making it hard to gage distance because the layers of the plastic soften the light and the landscapes behind it. This was shot in a raspberry polytunnel where there are miles and miles of raspberry plants – I was most interested in documenting how the edge-lands of these growing spaces get completely overlooked.

Hart’s-tongue fern, June 2020. Photographed by Marco Kesseler

Whether we’re in London or in the countryside there’s always this relationship between nature and the manufactured marks we have left on the planet. The most interesting part of the polytunnels for me was hunting out these tiny details – like this wild fern that has found the right conditions to grow amongst the plastic – we don’t usually notice these little vignettes that exist on the periphery.

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