My current project, Consumption, explores aspects of the supply chain associated with the modern consumer; from the extraction of resources, to processing, manufacturing, energy production, construction, food production, logistics and retail, through to waste management and reuse.
In so doing I also find myself looking at the way the natural, ancient landscape of the UAE is being utilised and consumed. I do most of my research on satellite imagery. The recent exploitation of the previously untouched Emirati landscape shows how fast resources can be consumed and environments irrevocably changed when economic growth is unrestrained.
Richard is a British photographer based in Dubai. He previously lived and worked in London and grew up in the West of England. As well as undertaking commercial commissions, Richard works on personal photographic projects usually with themes relating to the environment and sustainability.
In 2011 his project Abandoned was featured extensively in online and print media worldwide. As well as being selected for a number of international awards, the project was also included in exhibitions at the Empty Quarter Gallery, Dubai and the Oceanside Museum of Art, California, and had a solo show in Dubai. Since 2013, Allenby-Pratt has been a regular columnist at the leading website dealing with issues of sustainability in the Middle East: greenprophet.com
The Gulf Cooperation Council countries are distinguished, of course, by their oil and gas wealth and, for the most part, their reliance on it and lack of economic diversification (with the exception of the United Arab Emirates).
The population boom of recent years, mainly due to economic migration, has already overstretched meagre natural resources, and the dependence on imported goods, desalinated water and conditioned air, combined with profligate attitudes and policies have resulted in the world's highest carbon emissions per capita. Over-extraction of ground water and over-grazing by domestic camels are resulting in exaggerated desertification in the UAE, and the increasing reliance on desalinated water is leading to the poisoning of the previously rich marine environment by the backflow of heated, concentrated brine. I would like to extend the remit of my Consumption project, which has so far focussed solely on the activities of the UAE, to include the other GCC countries.