Sarah Nõmm

The Branch / Untie My Silk Ribbons


If we chose the position that everything that exists is natural, a person is above all free to decide on their own life and activities and they have the right to strive for what makes them happy, it becomes clear that what we currently understand as a taboo is not somehow pre-destined by nature, but instead based on a social contract. In her work, Sarah Nõmm discusses the limits of such contracts, questions their fixation and discusses the possibility of changing them. As a woman, she mainly focuses on social norms related to a woman’s body.

Interweaving found materials with handicrafts, the artist creates artworks that aptly reflect the tensions between taboos and customs. I feel a certain discomfort when looking at her works, and I’m literally at a loss for words. I look at her punishing twig with a braided handle and become submerged by waves of silent yet powerful memories. Goosebumps on my skin, I am both a young boy and a grown man, protected and threatened at the same time.

Taboos and customs are in constant mutual movement. The previously hidden activity becomes public; activities that used to be considered normal become secret. Sarah Nõmm’s works aptly show that it is possible to get hurt in a single bedroom in several ways: to be unwillingly overwhelmed or willingly surrender to someone else’s power.