23 Confiscated Items That Will Make You Relive Your School Days

Artist Guy Tarrant has collected confiscated artifacts from 150 different London schools over three decades. From dirty trolls to fake mobile phones — each has a story to tell.

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Artist and teacher Guy Tarrant’s exhibition ‘Confiscation Cabinets’ is on display at the V&A Childhood Museum until 1 June 2014.

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The exhibition focuses on the everyday actions of school students, with objects including pen tubes used as pea shooters, toy guns, colourful plastic toys and jewellery, make-up, gadgets, and improvised missiles.

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Since qualifying as a teacher, Guy Tarrant has investigated pupil interaction, play, and resistant behaviour and making artworks since 1987.

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‘The Confiscation Cabinets’ highlight the distracted behaviours seen in the controlled school setting.

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The objects show the pupils’ playful and impulsive activities and how they may reject or evade rules.

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The majority of items on display were donated by senior and head teachers, while others were collected by Guy while working as a teacher in primary and secondary schools, and in centres and schools for pupils with emotional, social, and behavioural difficulties.

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Each school has its own policy for returning confiscated items: The objects on display represent cases where pupils have been given the opportunity to reclaim their property but chose not to do so.

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The exceptions to this are weapons, stolen items, or items believed to have been used to cause damage to a person or property.

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‘Confiscation Cabinets’ is on display at the V&A Childhood Museum until 1 June 2014.

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