'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 twenty 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, most recently as part of the 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’.
Mehta’s interest in and approach to landscape and still life genres is evident in much of his personal work such as his on-going project The Garden, (2010-), Memories within a Welsh House (2009) and his work with the European Garden Heritage Network.
Thus habitats provide readymade stages for often overlooked details in the natural world, or backdrops for carefully placed objects.
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 depicts the natural world in uniquely photographic terms, playing with exaggerated perspective to create a strange, distorted, almost fevered rendition of the English botanical landscape.' (Sophy Rickett, Hotshoe, July 2010)
CV & Education
Roy Mehta has been working with photography for over 20 years. He divides his time between working on commercial projects and his own fine art projects and is also a visiting lecturer in Brighton. His main area of research lies in documentary photography specifically in relation to ethnic diversity and more recently in landscape and garden photography.
Qualifications and training
1990 BA (Hons) Photography, University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, UK
2014 ‘Fungi’ Brighton Photofestival
2011 East Gallery, London ‘Uncertain States’ Group show
2010 East Gallery, London ‘Uncertain States’ Group show
2010 Foremans Smokehouse Gallery, London ‘Between Two Truths’ Group Show
2004 'Coastline', Romfeia Gallery, Plovdiv, Bulgaria (Plovdiv international photography festival)
2003 'Coastline', Focal Point Gallery, Southend UK
2003 'Coastline', The Tom Blau Gallery, London
1999 'Coastline' photography exhibition, The Cape Town Month of Photography, Cape Town University, Cape Town, South Africa
1997 'Distant Relations', Willesden Green gallery, London
1997 'Distant Relations', Keynes gallery, University of Kent, Canterbury
1996 'Distant Relations', Impressions Gallery, York, UK
1996 'Distant Relations', Cambridge Darkroom gallery, Cambridge, UK
1995 Harlesden Church project, Derby Photography Festival, Derby, UK
1993 Harlesden Church project, Photofusion Photography Gallery, London
1993 Harlesden Church project, Willesden Green Gallery, London
2012 Uncertain States, London
2010 'Between Two Truths' photography exhibition, Smokehouse Gallery, London, UK
2000 'Just Another Day', Ffotogallery, Cardiff. UK
1998 Moving Stories, Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston, UK
1998 British Photography Today, installation, Rencontres d'Arles, France
1997 'Shine' Group exhibition of contemporary photography, National Media Museum, Bradford, UK
1996 John Kobal portrait exhibition, National Portrait gallery, London
1991 Harlesden Church project, Watershed Media Centre, Bristol, UK
Public Art commissions
2011 Commission from the Photographers Gallery for the London Olympics ‘The World in London’
2008 Commission from the European Garden Heritage Network (EGHN) to produce work that reinterprets the nature of public gardens
1995 'Transition' images of Bedfordshire, Bedford gallery, Bedfordshire
1994 Airside/Landside images of Luton airport, Luton Museum and Art gallery, Bedfordshire
Educational experience – tertiary
2011 to present tutor Open College of the Arts
2005 to present visiting lecturer, City college Brighton & Hove, Brighton
2003 - 2004 visiting lecturer, University for the Creative Arts, Farnham
1992 - 2007 visiting lecturer Harrow College, Middx.
2003 Coastline (pub. Browns ISBN is 0-9533730-6-1)
2001 Different (pub. Phaidon ISBN-10: 0714840149)
1996 Distant Relations (pub. Autograph ISBN 1-899282-20-3)