When I was asked to contribute to Books of the Unexpected, Roald Dahl’s Matilda immediately sprang to mind. It is the story of a precocious little girl with special powers, who is neglected, overlooked and underestimated by her parents. When they fail to send her to school she teaches herself to read and her world is opened up. You could almost say the books or at least the authors become surrogate parents.
The work is not so much about the story but more about the character and her resilience, self-reliance and determination to learn despite her disadvantageous start.
My original idea was to create an imaginary archive or collection of fabricated objects that could have belonged to Matilda. Each piece was inspired by a particular quote from the book and by objects from the V&A collection.
It's unusual for me to have fixed ideas from the beginning but I knew almost instantly what I'd make.