Video: Jacqueline Wilson: My V&A
Jacqueline Wilson: I do love to look at things. I wouldn't exactly say I have a strong visual sense, possibly because I'm so short-sighted, I practically have to put my nose against things to see them properly. But I do care passionately about paintings, about beautiful objects and I particularly like it if they've got a little history behind them. If they haven't got a history, I might make up something a bit fey and silly, but that's writers for you!
With this suggestion that I come round the whole of the V&A and choose my special objects, I couldn't believe that I could be so lucky. I put aside a Saturday and I came here quite early and I don't think that there was a single gallery that I didn't set foot in and looked at everything. I've never done that before, because the V&A is huge. It was just so difficult, honing things down. I think the original brief was 10 or 15 special objects and I wanted practically everything.
I decided to choose the objects simply because they were things that I personally responded to and they are often particularly strange or interesting or colourful or magical. But I realised after I'd made my final selection, many of them are the sort of things that a child of 10, say, would have chosen.
I love this whole, new Medieval & Renaissance gallery and I've wandered round it several times since the grand opening. I've chosen the Brixen altarpiece partly because I love the way that the main statue of Mary with St Florian and John the Baptist - they look a bit like painted dolls, don't they? And then underneath them there are the four female saints who I'm very fond of - I particularly like St Barbara with her tower and then I there's Dorothy and Catherine and Margaret. They're all there with their little bits of their story and I love the way that you open up a door in St Margaret's and there was the relic inside. I'm not religious myself, I don't have any belief, but I certainly admire very much all this wonderful religious statues, altarpieces, whatever.
For many years I was head to toe in black and every single finger bore a ring. I'm going through a bit of rebellion now I'm getting older. I thought everybody knows me as the woman who wears black all over, so I shall wear something colourful today. I've got very big rings on and I thought if I had a ring on every finger it would weigh my arms down, so this is my light, summery mode. My jewellery is nearly all from a wonderful place called the Great Frog in London which is the haunt of rock stars. And they have photos of the different famous people that have been there, but bless them, they've actually put a photo of me there too.
When you say 'Wedgewood' you think of that pretty blue china with white relief all around it. This is Daisy Makeig-Jones' special 'Fairyland Lustre' and I actually lust after owning a piece, but it's astronomically expensive. It's very difficult to work out exactly what's going on in each vase, particularly as at the moment they're displayed quite high up. I think there are lots of fairies and nymphs and there are strange blobby bits where there are odd little creatures. They seem to be telling a magnificent fairy story. Not really the sort of thing you'd find in a jumble sale, but you never know. If ever one of my books was made into a big film or something, I shall splurge and find my own.
I adore Lord and Lady Clapham. I remember when the V&A acquired them and there was naturally a photograph of them. And I couldn't wait to see them because they're dolls in such fantastic condition and yet they're from the late 17th century. I love dolls. I've got a huge collection myself, but nothing to compare with this very regal seeming couple and their clothes probably are the best bit of them because they're so elaborate and delightful. I do feel sorry for Lady Clapham that right throughout the centuries, she's had to keep her corsets on. It would be lovely to ease them at the back and let her breathe out for the first time ever!
My choices I think would appeal to boys as much as girls because there are a lot of blood thirsty things that I've chosen or very weird things. I think this is what children respond to. I think it's incredible that we're always so worried about what children see and read and yet we're very, very happy when they come round museums and the whole St George altarpiece or whatever it is, is just so amazingly, eye-poppingly disgusting, the different tortures that they give poor St George and they seem so ungrateful, I don't know entirely the legend, but there he is rescuing the maiden from the dragon and then suddenly he's being boiled in a pot, he's being sawn into quarters, I mean you couldn't imagine a more terrible end for him.
This beautiful Madonna is probably the most ancient thing that I've chosen. I generally come and visit her every single time I come to the V&A and I have a replica that I bought in the shop years and years ago which is in pride of place at home. I love her because she looks so melancholy, because she's so large, the Christ child is like a little man, because in the early 12th century that's the way the Christ child would have been depicted, even as a baby. And the three wise men know their places, they only come up to the Madonna's chest and they're sort of bowing down. They could be nodding off or they could be just showing their absolute faith.
I love the costume gallery at the V&A and it's always such fun choosing which dress I'd really like to own. Actually this Fortuny dress is my all time favourite. Even though it's probably unwearable because if you look carefully, it comes out like a column, so how on earth would you walk? You'd have to walk going along like this ... but it really wouldn't matter, you could actually stand still and let everybody circle you, admiringly. I really do think that if I was invited anywhere ultra posh, this would be the sort of outfit I would like to choose.
I think of all the treasures I have around me, maybe they do help me remember what it's like to be a child, but in actual fact when I'm writing I get so lost in my imaginery world that I could be sitting in a bleak prison cell and it really wouldn't matter.