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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.


Roy Mehta 

  • Born In London


  • PGCE University of Brighton 2016
  • BA (Hons) Photography 1990 2.1 University of the Creative Arts, Farnham, Surrey.

Industry experience

1990 – Ongoing

I have been working with photography, exhibiting and publishing work both in and outside the UK. My commercial ongoing experience is with numerous clients within the advertising and editorial sector. Recent commissions include national poster campaigns for Premium Bonds and Tesco both involving working with above the line London advertising agencies.

I have also been working as a part time visiting lecturer at various colleges since 1992. My experience includes lecturing and tutoring students up to and including degree level, as well as assessing work and writing and delivering a variety of assignments. My main area of research lies in documentary photography specifically in relation to ethnic diversity.

See website for commercial client list.

Exhibitions (selected examples)

  • 2019 Tate Gallery, Liverpool 'Sixteen' group photography exhibition
  • 2019 ‘Project Sixteen’ National Touring Group Exhibition opening at The Derby Photography Festival
  • 2016 ‘Portraits of Mumbai’ Uncertain States, Cass Gallery, London
  • 2015 ‘Coaxial’ Group show London Photomonth
  • 2014 ‘Fungi’ Brighton Photofestival
  • 2013 Uncertain States, Cass Gallery, London
  • 2012 Uncertain States, Cass Gallery London
  • 2012 Photographers Gallery (on location) The World in London Group Show
  • 2011 East Gallery, London ‘Uncertain States’ Group show
  • 2010 Foremans Smokehouse Gallery, London ‘Between Two Truths’ Group Show
  • 2004 Romfeia Gallery, Bulgaria (Plovdiv International Photography Festival) sponsored by The British Council
  • 2003 Focal Point Gallery, Southend
  • 2003 Tom Blau Gallery, London
  • 2000 Ffotogallery, Cardiff ‘Just Another Day’, millennium commission group show 2000
  • 1999 Cape Town Festival of Photography, South Africa (sponsored by The British Council)
  • 1998 Rencontres d’Arles; British Photography Today
  • 1998 National Museum of Film and Photography, Bradford (group exhibition ‘Shine’)
  • 1998 Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston
  • 1997 Keynes Gallery, University of Kent, Canterbury
  • 1997 Willesden Green Gallery, London
  • 1996 Impressions Gallery, York
  • 1996 National Portrait Gallery, John Kobal Exhibition
  • 1996 Cambridge Darkroom Gallery (book and touring show ‘Distant Relations’), Cambridge
  • 1995 Derby Photography Festival, Derby
  • 1994 Luton Museum and Art Gallery, Luton
  • 1993 Photofusion Photography Gallery, London
  • 1991 Watershed Media Centre, Bristol

Publications/Reviews (selected examples)

  • 2015 Uncertain States Magazine
  • 2010 Hotshoe Magazine
  • 2003 Portfolio Catalogue (issue 37)
  • 2003 BJP review
  • 2001 Blueprint Magazine (coastal work)
  • 1998 Creative Camera (review of Moving Stories / Harris art gallery)
  • 1997 Creative Camera (Oct/Nov)
  • 1997 Creative Camera review of Distant Relations (Feb/March ed.)
  • 1992 BJP interview and review of work

Books and Catalogues

  • ‘Make Light Work’ (Published by Ffotogallery 2008)
  • ‘Coastline’ 2003 Published by Browns ISBN 0-9533730-6-1 (essays by David Chandler and Andrew Martin)
  • ‘Different’ 2001 Published by Phaidon ISBN 0 7148 4014 9 (essays by Stuart Hall produced by Mark Sealy)
  • ‘Distant Relations’ 1996 Published by Autograph ISBN 1-899282-20-3 (Essays by Mark Sealy and Oladele Ajiboye Bamgboye)

Public Art Commissions and Awards

  • 2012 ‘The World in London’ Olympics commission from the The Photographers Gallery, London
  • 2006 Awarded commission from EGHN (European Garden Heritage Network) to produce work that re-interpreted the space within British and German public gardens.
  • 2002 Awarded grant from Commissions East along with sponsorship from Photonica to publish ‘Coastline’ as a
  • hardback book.
  • 2000 Awarded grant from East England Arts for work on the British coastline.
  • 1997/1998 Public art commission from the Harris Museum in  Preston to produce a body of work that reflects the diversity of communities living in Preston.
  • 1995 Awarded a bursary from Cambridge Darkroom Gallery and Autograph to produce a personal body of work attempting to create figurative references to cultural identity. This resulted in a book and national touring exhibition (‘Distant Relations’)
  • 1994 Eastern Arts Board Public Art Photography Commission to produce an exhibition that explored the landscape and people of Dunstable via a series of large-scale panoramic photographs
  • 1993 Eastern Arts Board Public Art Photography Commission to produce an exhibition exploring concepts surrounding air travel
  • 1992 Nominated for ‘Kodak European Panorama of Young Professional Photography’  

Public Collections

  • Autograph
  • The British Council
  • Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston, Lancashire
  • Birmingham National Collection of Photography


  • 2017 - ongoing Visiting University for the Creative Arts, Photography (BA Hons), Rochester
  • 2005 – 2019 ongoing Visiting Lecturer City College Brighton UAL, BTEC  FDA and BA(Hons) Visual Arts Practice
  • 2011 – 2014 Tutor Open College of the Arts
  • 2003 – 2004 Visiting Lecturer UCA Farnham
  • 1992 – 2007 Visiting Lecturer Harrow College
  • 1994 – 1995 Visiting Lecturer Uxbridge College

Teaching responsibilities

  • Degree BA level and BTEC level 3
  • Specialise in delivering Professional practice and Documentary practice modules
  • Lesson planning, delivery and normal teaching responsibilities
  • Delivering regular lectures and presentations
  • Writing and delivering documentary practice module for FDA photography degree
  • Organising external speakers through professional contacts to deliver talks
  • Writing, delivering and marking assignments for BTEC, UAL and FDA Photography degree courses and have achieved a high level of success rates.
  • Marking work
  • Internal verification of marks
  • General industry advice and guidance
  • Promoted safeguarding, equality and diversity and health and safety and followed the college’s policies and procedures.
  • Promote excellence in teaching and learning throughout the curriculum area.
  • Maximise success rates, retention and achievement.

 Course Validation

  • 2014 – 2019 Industry Representative for validation of the BA(Hons) Photography Farnborough College, Hampshire

Professional development

  • 2017 State of Photography Symposium Birmingham City University
  • 2016 PGCE University of Brighton
  • 2016 Currently working towards an HEA Fellowship with The University of Brighton
  • 2015 Tate Modern Conflict, Time and Photography exhibition 1 Day
  • 2015 State of Photography Symposium at The Library of Birmingham 1 Day
  • 2014 Seminar on Psychoanalysis and photography University of Westminster 1 Day
  • 2014 Photography and Philosophy City Lit London 4 weeks (p/t)
  • 2014 Critical and analytic theories in photography City Lit London 4 weeks (p/t)
  • 2014 Foundations of Teaching for Learning MOOC The Commonwealth Education Trust 4 weeks (p/t)
  • 2013 Introduction to Philosophy MOOC University of Edinburgh 5 weeks (p/t)
  • 2013 Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity MOOC Stanford University 8 weeks (p/t)
  • 2013 The Camera Never Lies MOOC University of London 4 weeks (p/t)
  • 2011 Supervising student projects course (University of Brighton) 4 weeks (p/t)
  • 1994 D32 / D33 assessors award

Research (previous & current)

  • Ongoing series of portraits in Mumbai, India
  • Ongoing project on landscape and gardens
  • Ongoing commercial experience with advertising, publishing and photo libraries

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