Dividual Notebook is a web-based project by the collaborative art team, Dividual Notes. We are a family (Brigit, Jean-Louis, and Tobias) who make art together, combining various visual-art forms with creative writing.
Brigit and Tobias are Dutch, and Jean-Louis is French. Twenty-five years ago we moved from The Netherlands to Ireland. Ireland has become our home, but over the years we have all experienced, at different times in our lives, and to different degrees, feelings of otherness and unbelonging.
In 2016 we decided to start a web-based project on this theme. Tobias designed and built the website, Dividual Notebook, which is our platform for sharing the work we make for this project.
In the period from May 2016 - May 2017 we created a body of work that reflects our individual and shared thoughts on being and leaving home, and how our identities have been shaped by notions of belonging.
Working on the Dividual Notebook project has given us the opportunity to examine our notions of belonging. It has helped us to see our sense of belonging as something we control, or at least have ownership of. We attribute belonging, it stems from us and has a home in us. It is both as real and impermanent as we are.
The room pitches and spins. My arms splay out, and I drop into nothing. It takes a long time. Like the journey of light from stars that, by the time we put an eye to the telescope, have pinwheeled into the darkness. I reach for something, anything to hold on to. My recollections of past homes seem solid until I try to put any weight on them.
I travel from place to place. I settle for a while. I am settled, for the moment. I think about travelling to new places and also places I have been. A few places have felt like home. I belonged there. I keep memories of these homes like souvenirs, and every now and then I unpack them and look at them and feel the tightening of a slack rope. I remember belonging, and keep that feeling too like a souvenir, in some ways more precious than my actual memories of people and places and things that I did. Belonging. I treasure it. I search for more of it. I travel from place to place. I settle for a while. I am settled, for the moment. I think about... belonging.