'WEIRDO' 'FREAK' 'FAGGOT'

‘WEIRDO’. ‘FREAK’. ‘FAGGOT’

JH: “In an exchange with his mother maestro photographic provocateur Leigh Ledare observed: ‘As long as you regard your life as fiction, in the very least you'll have some interesting experiences.' His mother replied, 'Finally somebody who understands me.’

“That people can feel compelled to lead lives hamstrung by fear, horribly afraid to express themselves seems a tragic waste. As a teenager growing up in the middle of mid 80’s middle England I can well remember the sneering and sometimes violent small-minded bigotry. ‘Weirdo’. ‘Freak’. ‘Faggot’. In reply I’d wear vintage full length fur - the vegetarian I am now would have been horrified - flamboyant jewellery, anything to separate myself from them all the more. Anything to provoke them. Ironically everything they hated about me was the very thing, accessorised with a love bite, that saw me escape straight into the art school of my dreams.”

“In every respect it’s all about rejecting ‘them’ so that you can be ‘you’. Surprisingly I feel more passionate about this now as a middle aged man than I ever could have expected. There’s no image I wouldn’t make if I felt the urge to do so. There’s nothing I wouldn’t wear and I’m just as happy to wear nothing at all, no matter the imperfections and scars and burns that reveals if it asserts my own sense of freedom, my right to do so. Even now I’ve lost old friends to snickering at dinner parties where a peek at my Instagram is enough to get them off. It’s sad to say but if the one thing you love to do is make interesting images then it’s probably best to see anyone who has a strong opinion on what images you can and can’t make gone from the precious life you have left.”