Leonie Hampton: Where The Heart Is

Leonie Hampton: Where The Heart Is

Sometimes the world must turn upside down
A mother becomes a daughter becomes a mother

Léonie Hampton‘s sensitive and openly honest project In The Shadow of Things explores her family’s acceptance of her mother’s OCD, made all the more poignant by their personal relationships. What sets this work apart from other projects of a similar nature is Léonie’s decision not to focus exclusively on her mother, but include her instead, in the overall narrative – much as it is in life. We see the family, the house, the experience, through beautifully shot and striking images. Work from the project can be viewed on her website, where you can also purchase the book, published by Contrasto Books (info below).


For over a decade Léonie’s mother Bron found it impossible to empty the packing boxes which had filled her new home since the collapse of her first marriage. The boxes, along with packed plastic bags and accumulated artefacts from her former life, were a constant, physical reminder to her family of Bron’s long-running battle with OCD.


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 as 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.



Signed, first edition copies of the book are available directly from Léonie on her website.
Contrasto Books
May 2011. 184 pages, 150 colour photographs and black and white. 20 x 25 cm
Hardcover with jacket
ISBN: 978-88-6965-278-3

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