Brent has a rich history of multiculturalism. Roy Mehta’s exquisite black and white photographs capture the daily rituals of its various communities, most notably the Afro-Caribbean and Irish, engaged in seemingly simple activities at home, in the street, and at church. Shot from 1989–1993, the images move from profound moments of faith to quiet family settings to the noisy streets outside, reminding us of the continual opportunities for connection and reflection in everyday life.
‘Mehta doesn’t shy away from the sadness and difficulties of this foundational story, but his multiracial faces – taken in Brent, northwest London – remain colored with British dreams, and they exude a vitality which suggests that, although things are never going to be easy, all will eventually be well.’ – Caryl Phillips from the introduction.
The work is generously supported by Brent 2020 London Borough of Culture, the Arts Council National Lottery Project Grant, and Spectrum Photographic.
Copies of the books will be donated to the local community through libraries, schools, and colleges as part of the Brent 2020 London Borough of Culture initiative and the Arts Council National Lottery fund.
A digital archive of the photographs will be gifted to Brent Museums and Archives.
Well-known curator and artist Laura Noble has curated the physical exhibition which will open in NW London in March 2022.
About the Author
Roy Mehta is a well-established London-based photographic artist with thirty years of professional experience working on personal and commercial projects. This is his third book.
Since he became a photographer, Mehta’s work has regularly engaged in different ways with cultural identity, through images presented in ‘REVIVAL, LONDON 1989-1993’ and his other books and projects such as ‘DISTANT RELATIONS’ and ‘COASTLINE’.
He is drawn to seeing how photography can offer us an opportunity to reflect on our common histories and celebrate our respective identities. His work explores how different cultures and identities touch, engage and interweave around each other.
As part of this process, he has recently been doing new work in Mumbai, India, exploring a city that he could have grown up in had his family not moved to the UK. This new work explores second-generation immigration and the resulting cross-cultural fluidity.
In a similar way, his work also explores what we consider to be ‘nature’, as in his recent series ‘Lockdown’ where he uses image and text to interpret the current Pandemic.
His work is in the permanent collections of Autograph, Historic England, The Library of Birmingham, The Harris Museum and Art Gallery and IKS Collection, Germany.
His archive is available through THE LAURA NOBLE GALLERY.
He has been regularly commissioned to produce work for advertising agencies and for a range of editorial clients.