Confiscation Cabinets is a display of artefacts gleaned from 150 different London primary and secondary schools over three decades by artist and teacher Guy Tarrant. The objects include homemade games, keepsakes, cult toys, weapons and other forbidden objects which characterise the flotsam and jetsam of contemporary school children. The display opens at the V&A Museum of Childhood on 9 November 2013 and runs until 1 June 2014.

The objects highlight the mischievous and distracted behaviours often played out in the controlled school setting where children spend much of their time. Artefacts include homemade playthings such as pen tubes used as pea shooters, toy guns, colourful plastic toys and jewellery, make-up, gadgets and improvised missiles. Many confiscated artefacts have been made from found paper, carefully decorated and looked after.

“Since qualifying as a teacher my art practice has concentrated specifically on school pupil interactions involving play and resistant behaviours. The objects in the cabinets evidence playful activities that reject and evade rules, activities that are impulsive, free and with a touch of danger. These types of items may often reveal an insight into the elaborate lives of young people.” – Guy Tarrant

Guy Tarrant has been making artworks since 1987, always seeking to reflect the situations he finds himself in. He has been a school teacher for more than 15 years and is dedicated to trying to improve the education system.

All images Confiscation Cabinets © Guy Tarrant