The Shape of Words
Now exhibiting at the Autistic Minds Caerphilly Community Hub. Jewellery designer and maker Lydia Niziblian explains the story behind her latest work.
Outwardly, and 100% of the time, I’m simply me. A video gaming, jewellery making, sci-fi & horror film loving human in Cardiff. I’m also autistic with sensory processing disorder. This means I am hypersensitive to some sensory input, and hyposensitive to others. If I am ill or stressed, these sensitivities are amplified.
I am hypersensitive to sound. I’m unable to filter it out and frequently ‘see’ sounds as shapes. When I started looking at learning some very basic conversational Welsh during that first Covid Summer in 2020, I was not in a good place. I do not cope with change well and need to plan to stay calm. Covid meant my comfort zone had disappeared. I was in freefall. So I wasn’t exactly surprised that the sound of these new (to me) Welsh words were evoking very intense, visceral repsonses. I started ‘seeing/feeling’ some of them very strongly, and began wondering how these shapes would translate to jewellery pieces. This led to the creation of the project The Shape of Words.
In a nutshell, the project would be to attempt a collection of ten pieces of jewellery, all based on my initial sensory responses to different words. I decided I’d make no attempt to make the pieces look cohesive and I would experiment with materials and form freely. I would keep a blog/diary during the process (I did, you can read it here). The project would culminate in a physical exhibition of the finished jewellery pieces at Oriel Bevan Jones Gallery in Carmarthen, a further exhibition in the Autistic Minds Community Hub in Caerphilly, an online gallery on my website, accompanied by a ‘virtual gallery visit’ short film by Chris Lloyd.
I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed this journey, and don’t feel I’m overstating the importance it has had for me during this time. It’s literally been a creative lifeline to hang onto when I couldn’t be sure of anything else, as well as giving me inspiration and a new direction for my work. I hope you enjoy the results.
You can find out more about Lydia and her work on her website.