As a Fine Arts student in California, Wiedel started photographing the Berkeley Student riots and Black Power struggles of the late 1960’s. She soon discovered photography was more in tune with her restless nature than painting.
She moved to Britain in1971 and spent 5 years travelling back and forth to Ireland visiting and photographing the Irish Travellers. These photographs were first shown at The Photographer’s Gallery, London and published as a book in 1976. This was the beginning of her continuing passion for working on projects that often extend over many years. The camera enables her to use her curiosity to explore and learn about people and lifestyles. Long-term projects allow her to get beyond the stereotypes and preconceptions.
In 1976, Wiedel took off with her camera to a remote Arctic settlement where the only person who spoke English was the resident priest. She moved in with an Inuit family and documented their way of life. Later in the year an educational publisher commissioned her to write and photograph a book on Iran. In 1977 she won a major Arts Bursary and spent 2 years documenting the Industrial Heartland of Britain with its last remaining coal mines, steel-mills and chain-making workshops all of which have now disappeared. In the 80’s and 90’s she was awarded two more major bursaries. For The Cross Chanel Photographic Mission she documented changes taking place in the town of Dover during the construction of the Channel Tunnel. For The Gainsborough Museum she worked with a writer documenting the people of Sudbury with the aim of bringing photography into the Museum. Both projects became exhibitions and books.
While continually taking on freelance work and running her photo library, Wiedel has always continued to work on the longer projects. Her two recurring interests have always been: Protest against perceived injustice and Subcultures surviving outside of the borders of society.
One of her latest projects was on St Agnes Place, a notorious squatted street in South London, whose inhabitants were finally being evicted after 30 years. She spent three years documenting the diverse range of people who lived on that street. For many years she has also been documenting Multicultural Britain including the Rastafarian community in London.
IRISH TINKERS Latimer Press/ St Martin's Press
CLASSROOM OBSERVATION Methuen press/Routledge
LOOKING AT IRAN A&C Black/ Lippincott
VULCAN"S FORGE Archetype
DOVER, A Port in a Storm CPPM
FACES WITH VOICES Richard Castell
NEW iBOOK: Irish Tinkers A Portrait of Irish Travellers in the 1970s: