As I am writing this we are very near to this year's Vernal Equinox. A favourite time of the year of mine – mostly because spring is a fact, but also because of the symbolic significance that lies in equinox, the perfect balance between day and night, light and darkness.
Ida Pearle's "The Moon Is Going to Addy's House" is a beyond beautiful book about the moon – how we sense and experience the moon, how it feels as if the moon follows us, and how the moon is always present in our lives whether or not we are conscious about it. Well, it is of course also a book about so much more than the moon and our relation to it. It's a book about the simple joys of childhood, about a travel made by siblings, about a transition from the city to the countryside and about that peculiar sensitive perception of the world that (especially) kids have.
I love to hear my girls read this story on their own. In a low voice my big girl "reads" the book over and over for her younger sister. She's not able to read English yet, and although we have read it together hundreds of times, she has somehow fabricated her own version based on her own experiences. For her this is undoubtedly the story about our own move from the city to the countryside where we have our current home. She carefully explains all the stages of our travel to Molly while slowly flipping through the pages of the book, not missing a single detail. "And look Molly," she says, "the moon travels with us all the way – 'cause you see, the moon is the same both here and there, so whenever we miss our friends in the city we just have to look at the moon and remember it will be the same for them!" So true, and so magic. And yes, I know that we have somehow appropriated the book and made it our own, but – dear Ida Pearle, I hope it's ok with you? I have a feeling it is. Because just as Ida's elaborated and refined cut paper collages give all of us the feeling that she has illustrated exactly our kid, her book is made in the same way: It's a universal story about childhood wonders and the illustrations capture exactly childhood and its joys, its gestures, and its impulses in such a precise way that we all seem to mirror ourselves in them.
So dear Ida, excuse us that we have "stolen" your story – but maybe this is even the main goal of the book...? That it could be a story for all of us who gazes at the moon and wonders a bit – a story to recognise and to feel at home within?
Happy Vernal Equinox and happy reading - Inger Marie // finurlig.net
Ida Pearle works with a specific cut paper collage technique. The expression is one of simplified but refined aesthetic form. She masters the “cut-away-technique” in the very best sense of the expression, keeping only what is most essential, telling her stories in a subtle and simple way, but with many precious layers embedded into the imagery for us to discover and unfold. Her main subject is childhood and the wonderfully vegetating imagination of a child. It seems as if she somehow has guarded and nurtured her own childhood imagination inside herself and therefore is able to see everything through the eyes of a kid. She sets up no extraordinary events of childhood – just those warm everyday like and simple but most wonderful things every child does – a simplified pure picture of childhood.
Ida lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband William and their daughter Una. She studied figurative painting at the Cooper Union and now works as a fulltime artist and illustrator. You’ll find a selection of Ida Pearle’s prints in her shop. And don't forget to pop over and read our art feature with Ida here.