In the Shadow of Things
Jake #8, 2007 © Leonie Hampton
Bron #6, 2007 © Leonie Hampton
David, Bron and Jake #2, 2008 © Leonie Hampton
The Yellow Room, 2009 © Leonie Hampton
These are not our clothes, 2010© Leonie Hampton
Bron in the Green Room, 2008 © Leonie Hampton
Jake #1, 2008 © Leonie Hampton
The Greenhouse, 2007 © Leonie Hampton
In The Shadow of Things cover, Leonie Hampton - contrasto
Forma Foundation for Photography in Milan presents an exhibition by award-winning photographer Léonie Hampton (formally Léonie Purchas) about her mother’s Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Leonie has always worked on the concept of family, carrying out stories and photographic essays among the most diverse family units: in Cuba, in the Parisian banlieues, in London, in Rome.
In In the shadow of things she presents the story of her own family. For over a decade, Bron, Leonie’s mother found it impossible to empty the packing boxes that had filled her new home since the collapse of her first marriage. The boxes, along with stuffed plastic bags and accumulated artefacts from her former life, were a constant physical reminder to her family of Bron’s ongoing battle with OCD and depression.
In 2007, a deal was struck: Léonie would help Bron empty the house on the condition that she be allowed to document that process.
In the Shadow of Things is the product of the months that Léonie spent with her mother: together they tried to tackle the irrational rituals and behaviours that were dominating her life. Opening the boxes and clearing out the rooms led to moments of anguish and anger, but also of humour, tenderness and joy.
The book, published by Contrasto, combines original photographs with found family images and transcripts of conversations, arguments and monologues. The result is an honest and intimate portrait of a family dealing with mental illness, a reflection on the power of the past, and a testament to the bond between a mother and a daughter.
In the shadow of things won the second edition of F Award for concerned photography, organised by Forma Foundation for Photography and Fabrica, communications research centre of the Benetton Group.
The exhibition is accompanied by a book published by Contrasto.
Leonie Hampton Purchas was born in Great Britain in 1978. After studying Art History, she has worked as assistant to photojournalist Tom Stoddart. She has won numerous awards, among which the Ian Parry Sunday Times Young Photographer, the Jerwood Photography Prize, a scholarship from the British Arts Foundation, the Paul Huf Award and the F award for concerned photography. Her work has been exhibited across the world. Hampton regularly holds photo workshops in her London atelier. Emiliana Tedesco
Forma Foundation for Photography
Until May 1st
Piazza Tito Lucrezio Caro, 1 (Milan)