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Roy Mehta

Photographer working within documentary practice and Lecturer

'Mehta goes to the places where unexpected, and often uncomfortable feelings are likely to emerge. If this leads one to expect a quiet, unobtrusive body of work, it ill prepares us for the boldly pictorial quality and strong visual impact of his images. This refining down of attention and the altercations of focus are the key strategies that allow Mehta to defamiliarize and decontextualize his subjects, enabling us to see familiar things as if for the first time.' (Stuart Hall 'Different' © Phaidon Press Ltd. 2001)

Roy Mehta is a well-established London-based photographic artist with over thirty years of professional experience working on personal and commercial projects. A hallmark of Mehta’s work is its versatility and application to a range of photographic genres while still maintaining a cohesive style in which intimacy is foregrounded.

Throughout this time he has developed a visual signature that emphasizes aesthetics and pictorial qualities that he expresses through the artful use of light and depth of field. Whether photographing people or objects, his creative approach engages with the intuitive and reflective to produce sensitive images that highlight detail and illuminate form. The final photographs are often enigmatic, gently hinting at and suggesting wider concerns, rather than foregrounding and describing them. In this way, Mehta is able to unite the formal and contextual elements in his work so that the various elements play off and enhance each other. 

His work is regularly exhibited in the UK and abroad. He was part of the project 'Sixteen', about the lives of young people which is a group exhibiton that toured the UK. He has also recently won a culture fund award from Brent 2020 which will result in an exhibition and publication of his archive in 2021. 

Other projects include Brighton Photo Festival 2014, (Mushrooms, 2013-4), and as part of a group show in London organised by the contemporary photography publication, Uncertain States (2014). Previous bodies of work include Coastline, (1997-2003), a social document of life along the British coastline from Brighton to the Outer Hebrides (Tom Blau Gallery) and Distant Relations, (1995-96), which explored the fragile connections within extended families and the dialogue between two cultures, (exhibited Impressions Gallery and The National Media Museum). He has also shown work at international photography festivals including Les Rencontres d’Arles and the Cape Town Festival of Photography. He has been regularly commissioned to produce work for advertising agencies and for a range of editorial clients. Many of his photographs have been commissioned and used for book covers that including a series of books by crime writer P.D. James as well as Salman Rushdie’s ‘Midnight’s Children’ and Richard Adams’ ‘Watership Down’.

Thus habitats provide readymade stages for often overlooked details in the natural world, or backdrops for carefully placed objects.

His work is in the permanent collections of the Library of Birmingham, The Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston and Autograph.

He has published two solo books, Distant Relations (pub Autograph 1996) with essays by Mark Sealy and Oladele Bamboye, and 'Coastline' (pub Browns 2003) with essays by David Chandler and Andrew Martin.



Public Garden Project

A celebration of community on the streets of Harlesden, NW London c. 1989


Distant Relations

Tahlia Leo-Kelly




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