Richard Wilding is a London based photographer, filmmaker, exhibition curator and public speaker, working internationally with museums and heritage organizations. He specializes in the documentation of archaeology, cultural identity and costume in the Middle East and is working on projects in Iraqi Kurdistan, Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia.
Richard’s photography has been exhibited at the Houses of Parliament, Courtauld Institute of Art and University of Exeter in the UK and in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
Richard has organised costume displays at the V&A, London in 2006 for the opening of the Jameel Gallery, at the British Museum in 2012 to coincide with the exhibition Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam and at the Ismaili Centre, London as part of the Nour Festival in 2014. He has coordinated exhibitions of historical photography in Jeddah and Madinah, Saudi Arabia and at the Royal Geographical Society, London.
Since 2012, Richard has been Creative Director of Gulan, a UK registered charity which promotes Kurdish culture. In 2013, Richard was awarded an outreach grant by The British Institute for the Study of Iraq towards his photography of the Erbil citadel in Iraqi Kurdistan. He has travelled extensively throughout the Kurdistan region of Iraq photographing its archaeology, heritage, religious and ethnic diversity.
Richard is a trustee of the Mansoojat Foundation, a charity formed to preserve and document the traditional costumes of Saudi Arabia. Richard has conducted numerous field trips through Saudi Arabia and has undertaken studio photography of Mansoojat’s unique collection of costumes and jewellery. In 2016 he produced a film about the costumes and heritage of Saudi Arabia and has recently completed a book with Mansoojat, due for publication in 2020.
In 2017, Richard led a heritage photography programme for the Barakat Trust in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He devised a course that included creative and technical aspects of photographing heritage, then led the participants through the process of editing and displaying a group exhibition. Richard has subsequently led photography training for the Egyptian Heritage Rescue Foundation in Cairo.
In 2018, Richard was commissioned by The Barakat Trust to produce a film documenting efforts to preserve Islamic archaeology and heritage across the Middle East and North Africa.
In April 2019, Richard curated the exhibition Departures: A journey through the Islamic World, organised by The Barakat Trust and Asia House, London. In December 2019 he curated the exhibition Hajj Journey through the Ages at the Islamic Arts Museum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Richard has given public talks at Asia House, Leighton House Museum and the Ismaili Centre, London. He has given lectures for the Reconciliation and Peacebuilding programme at the University of Winchester, for the Department of Archaeology at the University of Reading, for the Sackler Research Forum at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London and at the University of Exeter’s Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies.