The art of collaboration

Dividual Notes was born on a rainy Sunday afternoon when Brigit and Tobias took a scanned painting of Brigit's and combined in with a flash fiction story.

Dividual Notes was born on a rainy Sunday afternoon when Brigit and Tobias took a scanned painting of Brigit’s and combined it with a flash fiction story. That first piece was Agoraphobia, and it came together very naturally. Some later works took months to create, along with a fair bit of sweat and struggle, but the main focus of the collaboration has always felt very natural and exciting.

brigit-en-tobias-at-work

We work separately but we meet up often, bouncing ideas to and fro and giving each other feedback. From there ideas for our collaborative pieces emerge.  Once images and text for a particular idea are chosen we enter the process of playing around with these elements, often using digital media, to create our compositions.

For Brigit the depiction of the human figure, modifications or distortions of the objective reality and elements of chance and the unconscious are always a vital part of her imagery. In her work she likes to focus on the theme of vulnerability.

Tobias concentrates on short stories and flash fiction. He enjoys writing about odd people in normal situations or vice versa and creating a gently surreal atmosphere in his work. The overlap in themes is what brought our  work together and what has keeps our collaboration connected.

In 2014 Tobias also started working on a project with Jean louis.  Their collaboration progressed with a natural rhythm, producing monoprint-story pairings on a monthly basis, choosing each new scene for its relation to the time of year, from the heart of winter to the budding of spring.

Keash mountain

These seasonal changes are keenly felt in our studio, which Jean Louis renovated from a dilapidated cottage almost twenty years ago. The strong connection with the landscape and everything that moves in it, is evident in Jean louis’ monoprints. For Tobias, county Sligo is the home of his childhood, and his stories reflect his child-like reverence for all the grand and intimate spaces of Sligo’s countryside.

Being related and knowing each other so well serves our collaborations. Mutual trust and respect allows for a safe place to explore the themes close to our hearts. Collaborating in our art also enriches our personal relationships, taking us away from  parent-child roles and enjoying each others’ company as creative equals. There’s never a shortage of ideas, merely not enough hours in the day and days in a year to execute them all.