The thread that pulls us together: Corrie Peters on COLLECT/ive grief, COLLECT/ive joy

Posted on August 31st, 2023
by Nocturne

Artist Corrie Peters has spent close to a lifetime working with fibre and textiles, but it was far from her first choice when she selected her artistic medium in school.

“I went to study painting,” the Victoria, B.C.-based artist and former social services worker said. “And I realized really quickly that it wasn’t letting me communicate what I wanted to communicate.”

For Peters, fabric and yarn had a practical use, not an artistic one – something she picked up from her family.

“I don’t really know if my grandmother enjoyed crocheting or whether she did it out of necessity,” Peters said.

After spending some time in intentional communities and studying relational art, she realized that the metaphors found in textiles could be explored in her work for the rest of her life.

“The metaphor for textile is so large,” she said. “It’s the thread that pulls us together and pulls us apart.”

It’s this approach that helped Peters develop her latest installation for this year’s edition of Nocturne, COLLECT/ive grief, COLLECT/ive joy. In this interactive fibre art piece, participants are encouraged to unravel crocheted blankets and use the threads of yarn to create pom poms. The idea is to reflect on how grief often leads us to lose parts of ourselves but can serve as a catalyst to create something new.

“I think that’s part of the picture, the way that [grief and joy] can weave together. They don’t have to be compartmentalized,” Peters said. “For me, I feel all this grief, and then here is my kid dancing in the middle of the kitchen. I can feel both at the same time.”

Corrie Peters Nocturne 2023
Five colourful wool pom-poms of different sizes hang in the foreground. In the background are trees. Image courtesy of Corrie Peters.

Peters hopes this piece can hold space for the collective grief experienced over the past three years while allowing participants to privately reflect on their individual journeys with loss.

Typically, interactive installations involve the disclosure of memories or experiences through interviews, photos, or submitted voice memos. But with a fibre art installation, all you have to do is pull a thread and watch the blanket unravel. A participant can tear as much or as little as they want, all without having to say a word.

“There is no recording, there is no audio, no one has to know, but in the end, we all participated together.”

You can check out COLLECT/ive grief, COLLECT/ive joy on Sunday, Oct. 15th from 11:00AM to 3:00PM at the Dartmouth Commons Gazebo as part of Nocturne 2023.

Nocturne is currently collecting gently used blankets to be used for this project. If you have blankets that you would like to donate, please get in touch with [email protected] to arrange to drop them off or pick them up. The remaining blankets after the project will be donated to organizations supporting HRM’s most vulnerable.

For any questions or media inquiries, please contact Melany Nugent-Noble, Executive Director, Nocturne Art at Night Society, at [email protected].

To learn more about Corrie Peter's projects, visit