Photojournalism - Winner 2007
After graduating in Art History, Léonie Hampton continued her studies in Photojournalism at the London College of Communication.
Léonie has been photographing family life in many of its incarnations for some years now. It is a subject she says which is as unfathomable, varied and rich as she could have ever imagined. Such indepth access where she is able to document the intimate rituals and unconventional dynamics that exist between the four walls of a home mostly involves her moving in with the family she is photographing. She says ‘I learnt how the mundane can be thrilling, that there was no need to keep travelling daily in search of new images, that in fact to sit still in one place for days on end was the way for me to find the spectacular’.
When faced with a subject as expansive as the family, she likes to try and think of her work as organising a gathering of new friends and giving back what she has shared of their lives by producing truthful yet elaborated representations that go beyond what they might have known of themselves. Her work in this area has included documenting the forced division of a family in Los Angeles and Cuba, and she looks for families whose particular predicaments epitomise the modern world.
In her recently published book 'In the Shadow of Things', Léonie has turned the camera on her own family, documenting the months that she spent with her mother, as together they tried to tackle the rituals and behaviours that dominated her mother’s life as a result of her OCD.
The book 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.
Léonie is the recipient of numerous awards including the Paul Huf Award 2009 and the ‘F’ Award for concerned photography 2008. Her work is part of the permanent collection of MEP (Maison Europeenne de la Photographie) and Foam Museum, Amsterdam, and has been exhibited internationally including the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Palazzo Delle Esposizione in Rome and Foam Museum Amsterdam.
She co-founded and runs Still/Moving, a not-for-profit organisation that runs photography and film workshops and seminars in London.
Léonie is currently represented by the Kahmann Gallery, Amsterdam.