Zoë Buckman Examines Grief and Trauma in “NOMI”

Whitewall, 10 March 2021

London’s Pippy Houldsworth Gallery is presenting a virtual exhibition by the artist Zoë Buckman, titled “NOMI.” Featuring a selection of works made within 2020, the show is the product of Buckman’s journey to choose love and joy as a solution to the darkness in life. Created through the artist’s signature feminist lens, the work explores themes like identity and gendered violence. Buckman lays bare her own experiences with trauma and grief for her audience to take in from their own point of view.


With the artist’s alter ego as its namesake, the works included in “NOMI” offer a continuation of Buckman’s practice of using found domestic textiles as her canvas. Viewers will find moments of power found in the acts of healing and expression, embodied in embroidered figures and text, a selection of her well-known chain-suspended fabric-covered boxing gloves, and a series of collaged works on paper.



Buckman’s wall-hung textiles on view play with ideas of deconstruction and incompletion, featuring her own poetry and writing. In addition to the markings and blemishes found on the vintage materials from their previous owners, Buckman has left threads hanging loose and added her own stains and splotches of ink, like in the title work NOMI.


Four iterations of the artist’s suspended boxing glove sculptures—which have each been carefully covered in retro fabrics, bows, and tendrils of various colors and textures—includes a large bundle of the garments titled through the cradle, which looks at the home as the center of individual and collective experiences for women.


Additionally, Buckman’s works on paper highlight a recurring serpent motif, which the artist has taken back from stereotypical patricentric depictions of the animal, choosing the powerful creature as a representation of NOMI in works like Familial Filth and Never Shorten My Name.


Open through March 13, the virtual show is accompanied by a conversation between Buckman and the artist Toyin Ojih Odutola, which is accessible through the gallery’s online viewing room.