London art exhibition: Pram in the Hall

Emma Freud had to call Jason Donovan and buy secret Santa gifts and Emilia Fox needed to tidy her bedroom and learn her lines for Silent Witness. The real to-do lists of some of the UK’s most prominent women that feature in Alice Instone’s new exhibition opening in London.

The idea for the show, which launches on International Women’s day, came when Instone moved house and found her life consumed by chores. She had no time for art as her days were spent making lists and trying to complete the tasks on them.

Instone says: “Fretting about my lack of productivity I realised that’s where it had gone - into these notebooks, full of to do lists, domestic trivia, they told the story of the pram in the hall.  Talking to other women I found the same.  I also discovered the cult of the list – colour-coded, subdivided and categorised - and admissions at the school gate of adding completed tasks to make ourselves feel better!”  

Along with her own lists, Instone also collected a fascinating and revealing selection from prominent and influential women that offer a unique insight into the juggling involved in 21st century life.  Artist or human rights campaigner, model or doctor the majority of women share the commonality of making lists.

The Pram In The Hall looks at how women’s to-do lists reflect a state of mind tapping into the passage of time itself - each list a suspended moment - and the division of domestic work between men and women.


The exhibition will be at 1, Cathedral Street. London SE1 9DE from 9-26 March 2016.

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