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ESSAY CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT
Hyde Park Corner, London, England.
Every Sunday since at least 1872.
Between 2009 and 2012 I became a part of the ongoing street theatre that is Speakers Corner.
Graduating, slowly but surely, from detached photographic voyeur to fully-fledged participant/heckler/occasional bit player.
I have joined a cast of thousands that have come to this place to express their views, however controversial or off the wall, over the last hundred or so years. Religion is the current hot topic, especially Islam, but over the years the area has attracted notable political and human rights activists including Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and William Morris and still hosts a very lively Marxist forum and a selection of anarchist, conservative and socialist speakers.
This piece, as it stands, is not intended to answer any big questions or reveal any deep insight into the reasons people attend this place. I am not sure I am even qualified to ask those sorts of questions. I hope only in some small way to take you on a little sensory wander around the place. A selection of tapas if you like.
John Gladdy (b. 1964) is an English photographer living in London.
He has no formal qualifications having been expelled from high school and no formal training as a photographer. He discovered he had a talent for image making while working with the photographer Brett Walker on a community project in 2003.
He came to photography very late in life and has worked his way back from initially using automated digital equipment to now using mainly fully manual film based equipment in a variety of formats. He processes and prints his own work, wherever possible using traditional darkrooms and materials.
His portrait work is held by collectors all over the world. He is currently resting in London trying to overcome heart problems and looks forward to being well enough to travel again and find a new project.
Started at 45 years old this is his first attempt at a long form photo essay.