ye olde greene shirt
an on display collaboration : if an object could speak, what would it say?
September 18. 2000
me and the shirt
Titanium coils, made in jewelry class today. Soon to be turned into a bird's nest chain.
There's always been a certain article of clothing that always makes me feel better, no matter how ugly I look or feel, no matter what kind of day I'm having. The piece of clothing has changed throughout the years, but for the longest time through middle and high school, it was the green Gap shirt.
I got it when I was 11. I distinctly remember purchasing it. There were blue ones and pink ones, but I chose the green. It was actually a subtle grey and green check pattern printed on a thick, lush cordoroy, with stylish metal buttons that said "Gap Clothing Company", and a breast pocket on the left side. At that time of my life I hated all clothing from the Gap, so I surprised myself when I bought the shirt.
I wore it all the time, sometimes more than once a week. It would be slightly stiff from the wash when I took it out of closet, but after wearing it a few minutes, became soft again. I loved how it felt on me, and I loved how it made me feel. The shirt was my safety. Any day I would wake up and look in the mirror and hate what I saw, I would put on the green shirt and although I was still chubby with bad hair and thick glasses, I felt a little better. The shirt afforded some sort of protection.
I got my 8th grade school photo taken in that shirt. My mother and I fought over that decision, but I'm glad I wore it. My hair was still ugly and I was still fat, but I had contacts and my green shirt made me feel better.
The green shirt was severly damaged at a rehearsal for a show in 10th grade. I was sitting in an old folding chair in the wings, and when I got up, the shirt caught on the chair and tore along the seams, creating an L-shaped tear on the back right shirttail. I was really upset, but went home, sewed it up and continued to wear it.
It was the perfect shirt for wearing while working with clay: the sleeves rolled up and stayed rolled, it was comfortable to move around in, and it didn't show dried clay and clay dust on it at all. I can't tell you how many pieces of pottery I've made, and continue to make, in that shirt.
It was finally near the end of my senior year that the green shirt was relegated to paint and work shirt, a no longer suitable to wear anywhere except in the studio and home shirt. The L-shaped tear in the back that was sewn up had long since come undone, and hangs down rather sadly, the threads of the shirt slowly unraveling.
I found the shirt recently in my closet, and as I looked at it, I remembered everything that happened to me when I was wearing that shirt. All of the memories, the good and the bad ones, suddenly seemed very precious to me. I put it on, almost 9 years after I first bought it, and went off to the studio.
One Year Ago:
all writings, (c) 1999-2000, BRR