Richard Allenby-Pratt

Richard Allenby-Pratt
United Kingdom
Richard Allenby-Pratt is a professional photographer and exhibiting artist.


Previously based in London, he moved to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in 2000 and returned to Suffolk, England in 2016. He still travels regularly to the Middle East for commissions, projects and exhibiting.

Most of his career he worked in the advertising industry, specialising in automotive and location photography, but about ten years ago started shifting his attention to personal projects. Subsequently this work has been in solo shows, group exhibitions, art festivals and museums.

Richard’s breakthrough personal project, ‘Abandoned’, imagined a Dubai of the future that has been abandoned by people and re-occupied by released zoo animals, and attracted the attention of media all around the world. It continues to be regularly featured and exhibited, as its relevance continues to increase while global environmental and biodiversity concerns heighten.


Two Rivers

For The Place Called Home Allenby-Pratt compares his upbringing in the verdant landscape of West England where he spent much of his time alongside the Rivers Severn and Teme, with the now extinct river systems of the United Arab Emirates’ desert. By so doing he explored the notion of ‘home’ in the context of place and change, with a particular mind to the changes we must now expect in our environments as the climate changes.

The two river systems, one in the UK and one in the Emirates, have both been important elements in the photographer’s life, and places he escaped to when necessary. In January and February 2019, Allenby-Pratt revisited places from his childhood and early adulthood, and then from his later life in the Emirates. During the process of photographing them, he considered his own value system as it relates to natural and rural environments and their perceived importance.

The river system in the UAE is really just the ghost of a river that dried up after the last glacial period some 10,000 or more years ago. The wadi valleys of the desert and mountains still bear the impressions of flowing water on their beds and walls, and not just the marks of modern, seasonal flooding, but also the erosion of ancient rivers.