/18 Family

Leonie Hampton

In the shadow of things

For over a decade Léonie’s mother Bron avoided opening the packing boxes that had come from the home of her first marriage; these filled a couple of the rooms in her new home and attempts to unpack them spilled into other rooms. The boxes from her former life were a constant, physical reminder to her family of Bron’s OCD. “So then I didn’t want to move the boxes because then you’re disturbing the dust, and then you certainly don’t want to open the boxes because the nice things inside are all clean and packed and tidy. So you don’t touch the box. You leave the boxes where they are. I just shut the door and left it. And we lived in less than half the house”. – Bron. In 2007, a deal was struck: Léonie would work with Bron to face the boxes on the condition that she be allowed to document that process.