SCAR – From the Rich Earth

Poem by Lindsay Bainbridge, Paintings by Ian Pearsall 



Beyond the dark day…

Through the night window we see you as clear as day
But with daylight comes yet more darkness…

And reverently, as dawn brings forth the essence of the day
Under a belligerent sky we make our way,
Tracing a path walked a thousand times,
To bend into an industrial soul…
Slaves to an acrimonious heat
In a place of toil
Of trauma
Of tenacity
Sharing the lamp of camaraderie….

Through the black streets of our home,
A mass exodus away from the exploitation of labour,
To a welcome escape in that most convivial of meeting place
The pub
Twisted flesh and bone now restful in dust,
Receptive to a warmth abundant in easy conversation,
In laughter,
You sit silently with us…

Once more through the black streets, dust dragged upon tired torsos and lagging legs,
You walk silently with us,
We leave you at the back door…
Taking our fill of food and family, cocooned in the gentle warmth of love’s embrace….smiling…
Futures clambered up to still dusty knees…stories told…

We return to the night window,
As clear as day your fire still burns…
Upon our very souls…
Until sleep….

Beyond another dark day…

We rise and trace a dusty path walked a thousand times…
To bend and toil and dig
Repeated day after day..
After day… 

And now…beyond all dark days
Through the night window we gaze out at Paragons of little virtue
Sleeping beauties that stand cold, bereft…
Their flames extinguished
Their stories carried on future winds…

Through the night window we gaze out as the sun drops a gentle kiss
On the land’s lush countenance..
Wild flowers weaving a sinuous and rhythmic dance on a gentle breeze
Bow to a serene sky once lit by fire
To a terracotta vein where the lifeblood of our city once flowed…
We wonder at your stories untold…

There are now only shadows…

…you would never know unless locked deep in the memory, the permanent scars of this rich earth…





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.



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.

Pearsall met the writer Lindsay Bainbridge within the local art scene, whom has been influential in shaping the establishment of him as a distinct working artist through connections to significant local Art Galleries. An opening exhibition at Gallery 116 set in motion a series of group exhibitions with Trent Art, and a further two solo exhibitions at their subsequent establishment of a Gallery in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, the town where he first studied art seriously. Through Lindsay, Pearsall met Dave Proudlove with whom a creative connection was cemented following the illustration of Proudlove’s two autobiographical books set in the context of industrial Stoke-On-Trent. Proudlove wrote the backdrop to three of Pearsall’s exhibitions; ‘City of Fire and Beautiful Bricks’, ‘The Black Streets’ and ‘Scar: from the Rich Earth.’
Politics dominates life, and the act of ‘Brexit’ forced an eviction from the Sydney Works Studio in Longton; a former Ainsley Pottery Works Building from where a notable and substantial body of work was produced.

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..