Ruby Jack Meets: Abigail Bergstrom & lyds

Each month we talk to two incredible creatives about their own practice and what drew them to wear Ruby Jack. In this months edition we talk to writer and editor Abigail Bergstrom, and poet and playwright lyds.
Abigail Bergstrom - Photo by Mark Arrigo
Abigail wears our Gia Lovers Earrings & Ring from our sister brand, Shape of Sound

Your debut novel ‘What A Shame’, is coming out soon(ish) and I’m very excited to read it! Can you please tell us a bit about the premise for the story and why you decided to choose this as your first subject?

It’s about a woman called Mathilda who, cast into the grief of a brutal break up and the death of a loved one, is struggling to move on. It’s a dark comedy about her search of peace, friends insist she’s cursed and fling her towards various spiritual methods and esoteric rituals in her quest for redemption. It explores our relationship with spirituality, how we employ it – rightly or wrongly – to soften the revelations of deep existential truths, to give pain context. Her buried memories can’t stay that way forever, and eventually Mathilda has to face up to her past and overcome the prickling heat of female shame. That’s what the book is about at its heart, our shame.
Pre order Abigail's debut novel 'What A Shame' here

What inspired you to wear Ruby Jack and our sister brand Shape Of Sound, and which designs did you choose?

I chose the ‘Gia Lovers’ earrings in black and the ‘Ring of Two Voices.’ The ring is so unique; it’s delicate yet powerful at the same time, synthesising fragility with strength. I loved it from the moment I saw it. I like wearing Ruby Jack because the brand offers pieces that feel unusual whilst also being wearable. I can pop my Gia earrings on with a plain black dress and feel ‘done’. I love a statement earring because it sets off the impression you’ve made more of an effort than you really have.

You’ve talked a lot about the effects of burnout via your Instagram stories and been a wonderfully open book - your comments have been helpful for so many people. Can you tell us a bit about your own experience of burnout and how you manage the symptoms (and indeed the cause)?

I’ve had so many people get in touch with me off the back of sharing my experience, there seems to be so much shame around saying: “I’ve exhausted myself to the point of making myself ill”. And oddly, not because you should feel embarrassed at pushing yourself that hard, but because we’re afraid of looking weak in front of our employers or our clients, even our friends. It’s the inability to produce that creates the sting of shame around burnout because what are we worth if we don’t have an output? I had to learn that my value isn’t based on output or “success”. I changed my diet, removed the stressors causing it (as best I could,) and I think even being open and saying it out loud took the pressure off. It was like, I’m sick, and I’m continuing to make myself ill, but I can’t do this anymore. It was the acquiescence that prompted the healing process.
Abigail Bergstrom - Photo by Mark Arrigo
Abigail wears The Ring of Two Voices from our sister brand, Shape of Sound

Who are your favourite authors right now and why?

I finished Megan Nolan’s novel Acts of Desperation recently and that is an astonishingly good debut. I am a devoted reader of Deborah Levy so am enjoying the third instalment of her memoir series, Real Estate. Sheila Heti is one of the most interesting writers of today and I always revert back to Angela Carter or Audre Lorde when lacking inspiration.

Why writing? And who or what turned you on to write?

Because I have an incessant and burning need to bring everything into consciousness, to name it, wrap words around it. It’s awful. I oscillate between feeling that it gives meaning to our human existence and thinking any attempt at such tomfoolery is utterly pointless.

What does the adornment of jewellery mean to you and how does it make you feel?

I love statement jewellery, the pairing of an interesting piece with a simple, dress or a white t-shirt. It makes me feel “dressed” or finished, it completes a look.
Abigail Bergstrom - Photo by Mark Arrigo
What is the most important piece of creative advice you have ever received?

“You have to be possessed which you can’t will” – John Baldessari.

To learn more about Abigail’s work: @abigailbergstrom
To pre-order her debut novel ‘What A Shame’ visit here
lyds

Please tell me a bit about your current creative practice/projects and what work you're most excited about right now.

As well as a poet, I’m also a playwright. My writing practice is currently about merging those two worlds: language and beauty with story and theatricality. I wrote a lot over the lockdowns so I’m mostly trying to get my work rehearsed and on stage. I’ve got a couple workshops coming up and I’m excited to get going!
Four Soul Girl Haiku's - lyds

What is one of the biggest challenges for you as an artist, turning your creativity in to something that can pay the bills as well as keep you sane?

If I’m being honest, probably self-doubt. It’s no way near as bad as it used to be, but I still have to kill that voice that tells me I have no right to go for what I want. I handle it best by taking stock of what I have achieved and how far I’ve come.

What inspired you to wear Ruby Jack and which design/s did you choose?

I got a nice bit of commission money and thought I’d treat myself to a piece of quality jewellery. I’d been eyeing up Ruby Jack for a while and it felt like the right time. I bought a matching round pearl pair from the Lovers Elope earrings and I absolutely love them! The earthy brass tones with pearls are absolutely to die for. I have my eye on the Deity Choker and Iris Earrings too.
Joy As New Default - lyds
Who or what are you creating for, other than yourself?

I love answering this question! I imagine a sixteen-year-old Black girl watching a production of one of my plays or reading thru a poetry collection I’ve written and seeing herself for the first time. I write for my younger self and the girls out there who felt just as alone and invisible as I felt. It’s my mission, my purpose in life.

Why poetry? And who or what turned you on to write?

Poetry is my hearts language. It’s way I see thru the fog and process my emotions. I’d always written throughout my childhood and my teenage years but very unintentionally and without much thought. It was my poem the heart must weather what the heart was made to take, written after my first heartbreak, that I started to take poetry seriously. The poem really translated my emotional state at the time and I felt like I was finding my voice.

What does the adornment of jewellery mean to you and how does it make you feel?

I’ve adored wearing jewellery since I was a child. For me, wearing jewellery is an expression of my inner divinity. I feel sensual, deeply feminine and empowered.
I'm Hiding In Winters Jaw - lyds

What is the most important piece of creative advice you have ever received?

It was from the filmmaker Jenn Nkiru at a screening of her film Rebirth is Necessary. I asked her about how she trusted herself to make this film and she answered saying that the film was an “exercise in translation” – an opportunity to sharpen her skillset so she could execute her vision clearly and with intention. I’ve held onto that tightly.

To learn more about lyds' work:
lyds.bandcamp.com
lydialuke.com
@lydiahenriettao