Meet Bill Jay, evangelist, bible salesman, photographer, editor, writer, curator, lecturer, historian, instigator, provocateur, teacher, mentor and rattlesnake shooter, Bill Jay was all of these and more. A man whose influence on photography in the UK and US from the mid-sixties until his death in Costa Rica in 2009 cannot be underestimated.
In 2018 the film Do Not Bend: The Photographic Life of Bill Jay was first screened at the Martin Parr Foundation in Bristol, UK. It was the culmination of two years work. A film made by just two people, myself, and filmmaker Tim Pellatt. The team that created the film was as small as the budget. It was a self-funded project with no additional financial support and yet its impact within the photographic community in both the UK and US belied its humble origins.
Bill Jay had been forgotten and dismissed by many talking of the photographic history of the late 20th Century in the UK. UNP founder and curator Grant Scott sought to find out why and to put the record straight.
In this podcast series Scott tell’s Bill Jay’s story and that of his own journey searching for the truth surrounding Jay’s life. Featuring new interviews and material not included in the film, this podcast aims to place Jay into his rightful place within the written and oral photographic history of the late 20th Century.
Image: Copyright David Hurn/Magnum
© Grant Scott 2022