‘Life Restored’ Jonny Benjamin garment
“My faith in life, thanks to Mike, is restored”. Jonny Benjamin
This story is about hope and a life restored. Jonny Benjamin has donated the white t-shirt he was wearing on the 14th January 2008 as he was about to commit suicide. He describes his thoughts and feelings in his poem ‘From the edge of Waterloo Bridge’ hand written in his own diaries.
On that fateful morning, one Londoner stopped and talked Jonny down from the bridge. Jonny called him ‘Mike’ and six years after the event a London wide campaign was launched to reunite them. The #findmike campaign went viral and they eventually met back on the bridge. The stranger’s name was Neil.
The front of the garment has been saturated in black ink and indigo – a reference in his diaries to his ‘indigo mood’. We see what he sees as he stands on the edge of the bridge – London’s iconic cityscape printed in contrasting white against an inky backdrop. Neil represents humanity. He was the stranger who stopped and said ‘We could go for a coffee…talk it over? Whatever it is, it isn’t worth your life’.
The back of the t-shirt is lighter and a witty reminder of Neil’s statement:
“It’s weird because it’s like we are like old friends, we’re very similar. I’m Batman and he’s Robin. Maybe we were always meant to be in each other’s lives!”
Rosalind Wyatt 2016