– Collaborative Multimedia –
– Painting by Ian Pearsall, Essay by Reginald Crawford, Poem by Lindsay Bainbridge –
– Creative Ensemble Inspired By A Ceesay Yankuba Street Film –
SPIRITS (IN THE MATERIAL WORLD)
I am a ghost. While in a trance, I cut off my father’s head and placed it at his feet. Just here. By the dusty road. My begetter, the begotter. He who begetteth me begged not for mercy. He was a shaman, a healer of great power. Now he lies in two parts, separated from his ancestors until the land is sundered by the seas and snakes grow legs.
Before it turned to gold, then stone, then uranium, then lead, then dust, the head spoke to me. Three times it thundered, its voice roaring like a storm, driving the fishermens’ vessels on to the rocks, without hope. It prophesied my fate thus.
One: For my sin, I am consigned to a moderated nugatory purgatory for 7,000 aeons. I no longer remember how long I have been here. Longer than long.
Two: The anger of his god ensepulchred my spirit as if it was alive. Nine days I fell. I am left standing, invisible yet able to look in a circle around me, but I cannot move away. My feet are rooted, like a tree, in the edge of the track. Beyond my field of view lies nothing. Nothing is a void of night. Nothing is a darkness, side to side, up and down. I cannot see the full expanse of the sky nor the end of the road that leads to the sea and the fishermens’ boats on the beach. I am trapped. Paralysed in a panorama of everyday life.
Three: I am able to see the people come and go. A woman in a gold dress. Children and dogs. The voitures, the camionettes, the motos and the bicicletas. As part of my punishment, I can hear not just the speech of the people. But, unbeknown to them, I also know their innermost thoughts and secretest secrets. I know all their hopes and fears for all the years. But I cannot ever intercede. They wail and gnash their teeth, but I am completely impotent in the face of their angst, their existential anguish. I am an unseen, dead, auricular confessional voyeur.
The women come and go. Sometimes they talk of Michael the Angelo. I once saw the hyenas take a baby. Crunching its bones and snarling at the men who chased them off. I saw the warrior women with their bright knives, returning from cold lands at the edge of the world where they fought the red haired invaders, they said.
Time out of mind, I see the people grinding corn, in a corner, sometimes using two quoins salvaged from the invaders’ stone buildings. I see them cleaning fish, shopping at the market for foodstuffs and fabrics.
My ancestors came from a land of high, high mountains and cool clear springs. Sometimes I dream of manifesting as a headless chicken. Sometimes the people think they see me and run away. I am a liar.
I sense time past and time passing. Spacetime bends around me. There is no future. It is as unknowable as the contents on the inside of my dead father’s swirling cloak. I am outside time, outside space in an outdoor space. I feel not the wind nor the heat. I cannot smell cooking or the smoke of the fires. I have no boundaries. I am without walls and outwith the lives of men and women. Unlike the passers-by, I am without movement. I am trapped but I cannot weep or cry out. I envy them their freedom, to walk, to talk, to work, to eat, to live and love. I am a ghost. I can never go back. Never, never, ever, ever.
Like my father, I died unshriven. His god manifests from time to time. She appears in an unmarked helicopter surrounded by flocks of colourful birds and guarded by fish eagles. Her eyes are malachite. At her feet lie 50,000 rubies. Without emotion, she tells me again that I am in a no bail gaol. No one is praying for my release. No one. Death is a trickster she says. He wears a suit and polished shoes.
I have seen fireballs in the sky. My name means Thunderhead in the language of the place of my birth. I am a demon. I am a liar. I am a ghost. You decide. Consummatum est.
– Reginald Crawford
A thousand golden threads
mirrored in jet black
jewels of hope
along the rich red road of
and wondrous dreams
Laughter falls gently
prisms of passion and
under mighty saffron skies
The girl in the gold dress
dancing a luminous
of a thousand golden threads
to the tree of life.
– Lindsay Bainbridge
Lindsay Bainbridge is a writer of non-fiction, journals and poetry… her practice is an organic process, responding to people that she meets, the beautiful and inspiring surroundings of her home and places that she visits on her journey through life… Lindsay likes to connect and collaborate with other people, particularly writers and artists. Lindsay is passionate about writing, reading, art, photography, architecture, history, ceramics and animal welfare.
She lives and works in south-west Staffordshire.
Reginald Crawford was born in Ireland in 1951. His parents emigrated to England shortly thereafter. His father was a hardworking Church of Ireland man, devoid of irony but rich in stories about the land. His mother was the youngest of 15 children. She was a twin, born prematurely, both were not expected to live. Her sibling died after a few minutes so the midwife put his infant mother in a jug to die. She lived to be 94. Her son Reginald, the eldest of five children, grew up to be a mad keen reader of anything he could lay his hands on. He left home at 18 and never went back. He worked in factories, forests, a steam laundry and as a truck driver. He wrote radio commercials, was awarded a Gold Disc for his campaign about a revolutionary new truck gearbox. He advised a brewery and a Swedish truck company on public relations. He has never won a literary award but would be pleased to accept any discarded ones that might be available. His favourite work of literature is Post Office by Charles Bukowski.
Ian Pearsall was born in Salisbury, Rhodesia, and after the age of one, relocated, (at the escalation of the conflict for an independent Zimbabwe) to Malawi. He lived there for the next fifteen years, and whilst undertaking a B/Tec Diploma at Newcastle-Under-Lyme College of Art travelled intermittently to Malawi to visit immediate family for another Three years.
His connection to Stoke-on-Trent is through said parents, who were both born in The Potteries. His Mother from Birches Head, and his Father from Northwood. They came from a lineage of potters, paintresses, soldiers and coal miners, with generations further back into the smoke of The Industrial Revolution. His Father left the smoke of Stoke-On-Trent a single man to work in Rhodesia as a Customs & Excise Official. Later, following marriage, his Mother joined the African life.
Aged Sixteen the creative seeds nurtured at Saint Andrew’s Secondary School progressed into ‘A’ Levels and upwards in the UK. Trent Polytechnic (Nottingham Trent University) followed and led to the completion of a B.A.(Hons.)
Art through Travel has been hugely influential; extensively across United Kingdom, but notably Rome, Paris (where he lived all too briefly), Florence, Barcelona and Cracow which wholly contextualised 21st Century Art.
Post University was followed by a particularly barren period looking for creative industry work in the midst of a recession; but the eyes and receptors never switched off and following a move back to Stoke-On-Trent from London (and Paris) he was immediately struck by the Post-Industrial Landscape of a once World-dominating Ceramics industry; it’s Architecture, and in particular ‘the greatest representation of living Architecture in Britain- the terraced housing of working class people.’ It is an ongoing love affair that contextualised his family history in the wider context of working class people in British History.
An introduction to country living was made, initially just to contain the contents of the Sydney Works Studio, but now, from where a now substantial and seemingly ongoing body of work is produced. A very quick relocation of home, quite by accident, was made simultaneously meaning that home and studio are within a mile of each other in the midst of some significantly historic and equally picturesque landscape. Another solo Exhibition, ‘Terra’, at the Village Hall with the backdrop being written by Reginald Crawford and Lindsay Bainbridge established the Local British Landscape as an ouevre in itself within Pearsall’s catalogue.
After 30 years Pearsall is now exploring further; the social media platform, Twitter establishing vital reconnections with the home fires of his birth place; Africa. Until this point in his life the language of African life had escaped attention until a conversation on said platform with connection Sarjo Touray; and a reconnection with a best friend at school in Malawi, music producer John Medupe, opened the senses … Pearsall moves ever forward..