A comprehensive, largely unseen archive of tender photographs, made by Roy Mehta, documenting the Afro-Carribbean and Irish communities in Brent in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
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-Carribean 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 moments and to the noisy streets outside, and remind us that every moment is an opportunity for connection and re ection.
Curator and artist Laura Noble has curated the physical exhibition, which will open in the borough in March 2022.
As part of the exhibition, the photographs will be published in a standalone B&W book called ‘Revival, London 1989 - 1993’, which will be on sale from 14 January 2021 by Hoxton Mini Press. The photobook will begin with a foreword by Mark Sealy, director of Autograph, and accompanying essay by author and playwright Caryl Phillips.
Ten prints from the collection have been chosen by curator Ralph Goetz to be part of ‘Facing Britain’, a new show opening in Germany next year about the history of British documentary photography.
Revival: The Brent Collection is supported by Brent 2020's Culture Fund, Arts Council England, Spectrum and Stever Warner Retoucher.
Roy Mehta is a photographer who grew up in Kenton. Going to art school in Surrey in the late 1980s made him more curious about where he was from - he began documenting life in Harlesden and became particularly interested in religious activities. The project went on for five years and he took over 3000 photos. With support from the Brent 2020 Culture Fund, he is now revisiting the project with students from the College of North West London.