Number four in the Adoption Week Series of exploring Attachment Disorder by way of Costume…
Ruled Out, was inspired by countless trips to school to try to explain that children who have suffered trauma and neglect, simply do not operate on the same level as their peers. Sometimes, to actually make it through the school gate is an achievement. These children are quickly labelled through their challenging behaviour that is rooted in fear. When a child is locked into a permanent survival mode, their capacity to learn by conventional methods is diminished.
Using found school dresses, I embedded extra sleeves to create the topsy-turvy world of confusion that can occur daily. The labels are marked with words often linked with children that come from the care system: Disruptive, Chaotic, Distracting, Rude, Delayed, Lazy, Violent.
In the top front pocket, an inky message from the child reads I am doing my best… In each pocket there is a hand written note to the teacher with strategies that can give practical help.
The accompanying embroidered picture was used by Osbornes Solicitors on the front cover of the conference brochure for Adoption – The Next Headline. This was a campaign by the Times Newspaper for sweeping reforms to the Adoption system.