“She is a sympathetic mixture of distrait glamour and robust feminism...
Instone is more than a portraitist. She is a casting director.”
– The Observer
She Should Have Known Better took place in the home of the writer Henry James, Lamb House in Rye, now owned and managed by the National Trust. Exhibited in the rooms that the writer Henry James lived in, the paintings draw from James’ heroines and his themes of freedom, transgression and female virtue, to showcase women who broke the rules.
The subjects range from James' heroines to contemporary women; flirtatious Daisy Miller, who was shunned by society, tragic Lady Emma Hamilton and pop star Hyon Song-wol, former girlfriend of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, whom he reportedly executed by firing squad. Actress Helen McCrory appears as Adam's wife before Eve (Lilith) and a roster of feisty women who were given a terrible press during their lifetimes (fictional or otherwise) parallel the way women who don’t follow the rules or who appear above the media parapet are punished in the press today, their appearance mocked, their morals scrutinised and their ambition imbued with Lady Macbeth qualities.