Photographer seeks people he took pictures of in the early 1990s

One of the images from the ‘Revival’ archive

Two boys on a street in Harlesden early 1990s - Credit: Roy Mehta

A Brent-born photographer is seeking people he took pictures of 30 years ago for an exhibition in Willesden next year.

Roy Mehta walked the borough's streets from 1989 to 1993 with his huge camera and was invited to take pictures of Afro-Caribbean and Irish communities engaged in seemingly simple activities at home, in the street and at church. 

One of the images from the ‘Revival’ archive

A church service in Harlesden in 1990 - Credit: Roy Mehta

In 2019 the 52-year-old received a 2020 Culture Fund grant to develop his unique and evocative collection to showcase his art as part of the London Borough of Culture Brent 2020.

In January his book Revival was published by Hoxton Mini Press which is the foundation of his exhibition.

"It was a big project at the time and lay hidden for many years. I wanted to celebrate the borough as it doesn't often get the recognition it deserves so it was great when Brent 2020 came along," he said. 

One of the images from the ‘Revival’ archive

St Patricks Day March 1990 - Credit: Roy Mehta


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"I am looking for some of the people who are in the images as I want to give them a print and re-photograph them for a short film being made as well as an exhibition of the work, which is being launched at Willesden Library next year."

One of the images from the ‘Revival’ archive

Barber shop image from the ‘Revival’ archive - Credit: Roy Mehta

Roy grew up in Kenton and Wembley and went to Mount Stewart School in Kenton.

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"My Dad worked in Harlesden so I got to know the area as a child  - I loved looking at peoples faces and thinking about their lives.

"When I became a photographer around my early 20s I spent several years making photographs of people in this wonderful multi-faith and multi-ethnic community.

One of the images from the ‘Revival’ archive

Summer scene in Brent in the 1990s - Credit: Roy Mehta

"The photographs are time travel and are of adults being baptised, portraits of young and old people standing in the street and in churches."

Revival contains a foreword by Dr Mark Sealy MBE, director of Autograph, the Association of Black Photographers.

He said: “A preacher addresses his congregation, a child dozes at a family gathering, a young man fixes an elder’s buttonhole.

"People across the generations embrace, seem to comfort each other, explode with laughter and take a sombre pause for reflection.

"Each photo is beautifully evocative of a vanished era.”

One of the images from the ‘Revival’ archive

Men strolling in front of All Souls Parish Church in Acton Lane in early 1990s - Credit: Roy Mehta

The exhibition of the photographs will open from March 15 to May 15 2022.

If you recognise yourself, friends, uncles, grandmas contact Roy at www.roymehta.com or Instagram @roymehta.

One of the images from the ‘Revival’ archive

Evening church service in Harlesden in 1990 - Credit: Roy Mehta

"Get in touch as I would love to take another photo of you with the original photograph 30 years on," he added.

One of the images from the ‘Revival’ archive

A gravedigger from Kensal Green Cemetery - Credit: Roy Mehta





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