We went along this weekend to The Martin Parr Foundation in Bristol for the premiere screening of the new Do Not Bend film on the life and influence of photography writer, educator and maverick Bill Jay - and a full day of fantastic talks from influential photographers making work in the UK during the 1970's.

The premiere screening last night (Friday 20th April) at The Martin Parr Foundation had a packed house and those attending weren't disappointed. Co-producers Grant Scott and Tim Pellatt created a very informative and touching tribute to Bill Jay - respected by many photographers and students in the UK where he was first editor of the influential Creative Camera magazine which ran from 1968–1969 before founding and editing twelve issues of the equally respected Album magazine from 1970-1971. Jay then moved to America in 1972 and founded the Photographic Studies program at Arizona State University, where he was professor of art history and taught photography history and criticism for 25 years.

To a wider community of photography enthusiasts, Bill Jay will be remembered as co-author with long-time close friend David Hurn on their popular book On Being a Photographer, first published in 1997 and still in print.

Ffoton's Brian Carroll caught up with Grant Scott to hear about the inspiration for making the film and his response to the audience reaction at the Premiere screening. Listen below...  

Conversations between presentation sessions at The Martin Parr Foundation. © Brian Carroll

A lovely moment of mutual respect: photographers and old friends Markéta Luskačová and David Hurn catch up after many years. © Brian Carroll

The following day (Saturday 22nd April) was packed with talks from influential photographers working in the UK during the 1970's; with the programme consisting of...

John Myers
Myers was shooting a mixture of portraits and urban landscapes in the Birmingham area in the 1970s in a project called ‘Middle England.’ He is currently working with RRB Photobooks to publish his full archive and their first book together, titled ‘The Portraits’,  will be launched on the 21st April to coincide with Myers’ talk.

Markéta Luskačová in conversation with Ken Grant
Luskačová has lived in London for almost 45 years and photographed in the East End in the 1970s. This work culminated in a show at the Whitechapel Gallery.

Peter Mitchell
Mitchell’s landmark colour exhibition ‘A New Refutation of the Viking 4 Mission’ was shown in 1979 at the Impressions Gallery, York. Peter will discuss the ideas and concepts behind this and his other bodies of work.

Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen
Finnish photographer Konttinen has lived and worked in the Newcastle area for nearly 50 years and is a co-founder of the Amber collective. She will talk about her Byker work from the 1970s which was recently acquired and shown by the Tate Modern. More recently Sirkka returned to Byker and photographed the new estate and it’s inhabitants that replaced the original community for her project Byker Revisited.

David Hurn in conversation with Martin Parr
Hurn was a pivotal figure of this decade, working both as a fashion photographer and  photojournalist.  At the time, his London flat was almost regarded as the creative hub of British photography. He will be in conversation with Martin Parr.

 David Hurn in conversation with Martin Parr in the final session. Hurn had the audience entranced (and often in stitched with laughter) with his anecdotes, views and trademark frankness. © Brian Carroll

David Hurn in conversation with Martin Parr in the final session. Hurn had the audience entranced (and often in stitched with laughter) with his anecdotes, views and trademark frankness. © Brian Carroll

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