Photographers Magazine


From November 1978 to April 1980, Val edited Photographers magazine for Impressions Gallery of Photography in York. The initial editorial stated that: ‘ Photographers is a new magazine which will serve a dual function, to inform you about the activities of the Impressions Gallery of Photography and to make a wider comment on photography in this country, through the medium of interviews, portfolios, articles and reviews.’ Issues also contained information about membership of Impressions (£3.50), plus darkroom membership for £10.

The assistant editor of Photographers was Les Shackell, then exhibitions assistant at Impressions, design was by a local artist and the issues were printed at Speight’s in Guiseley, near Leeds, who were at that time, the printer of choice for many photographers and publishers of photographic books.

Featured in this first issue were descriptions of Impressions’ exhibition from Shore to Shining Shore: Photographers from the US Farm Security Administration (FSA) which ran from 25 November until 24 December 1978, and then toured to the Liverpool Academy Gallery (11 February – 3 March, 1979). A catalogue was produced, with essays by Laurence Cutting and Ian Jeffrey, among others.

The exhibition was advertised for hire and Dr Philip Stokes gave a talk on Walker Evans and the FSA during the run. A film programme was also put on at York Arts Centre with films including Paul Strand’s Native Land (1942) and The River directed by Pare Lorentz (1937).

Issue no 1 also included a portfolio of photographs by 19thc Whitby photographer Thomas Watson, a profile of Ken Baird by Val Williams and reviews of the BBC Exploring Photography series and the exhibition 23 Photographers – 23 Directions at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool and a preview of the upcoming E. O. Hoppe exhibition at Impressions.

There were 6 issues altogether, and the publication ceased to exist after Val left Impressions. Memorable features from issues 2 to 6 included Terence Pepper’s review of Germany: The New Photography 1927-1933 shown at Impression in May-June, 1979 and Martin Parr and Susan Mitchell’s review of Bill Owens’ Documentary Photography: A Personal View.

Issue 5 was the now legendary New Refutation of the Viking 4 Space Mission by Peter Mitchell (November 1979-January 1980), which Peter Mitchell edited as the Winged Cobra Workshop.

Further Projects