The Shape of Words

Lydia Nzibilian21st August 2021

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.

We are here to help.

Wherever you are in your autism journey, we're here to support you. Call us for advice, guidance, or just a friendly chat with someone who understands.

01443 844764[email protected]