A new exhibition ‘When I Went Shopping, I Bought…’ has taken residence in the ArtsSpace at South Mill Arts throughout July and August, taking a look at the humble shopping list.
Local artist, Lucy Gray, started collecting shopping lists she found discarded on her travels around Bishop’s Stortford. Since then, friends and family have donated or collected lists from around the globe.
“I’m not sure what made me pick up that first list… It wasn’t written by the person who made the list, but by the person who wrote the letter to the person who made the list, who then used the envelope for the list itself. It’s a convoluted train of thought but picking up that first list created a story in my mind. And the story wasn’t just about shopping. It was about someone’s life. And that was the beauty of it.”
Having amassed in the region of 200 lists, Lucy felt they deserved to be seen on a wider scale.
“Shopping lists are universal; pretty much everyone has written one. And they universally get thrown away. From the spelling to the writing, to the paper they are written on and the order they are written in, the lists expose people’s tastes, their habits, the celebrations, the things they find important”
Lucy moved to Bishop’s Stortford after starting her family and now works as the Communications Manager at The Hertfordshire & Essex High School. When not working (or collecting shopping lists!), she paints, creates and writes.
Explore this fascinating selection of original shopping lists until the 26th August on the first floor of South Mill Arts in the ArtSpace. The exhibition is free to visit, and you never know, you may spot one of your lists in the frames!