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Artistic Director, Peggy Sue Amison to Leave Sirius Arts Centre



siriousofficialArtistic Director Peggy Sue Amison to leave Sirius Art Centre to continue her career in abroad. After 13 years at Sirius Arts Centre, where Peggy Sue has established both a local and national profile as a Curator, she is moving on to explore her interests in Photographic Curation and development her career in photography internationally.

Peggy Sue began working at Sirius Arts Centre in 2001, after completing a residency and exhibition of her photographic work “Remains of Grace”. Initially recruited as a temporary administrator, but in recognition of her vision and commitment she was appointed as full time Artistic Director. Using her expertise in photography she broadened the existing multidisciplinary arts programme to include the support and development of photographers, a growing art form in Ireland. Under her direction Sirius Arts Centre has developed a gallery and residency programme that is diverse, managing to be local, national and international, and yet highly cohesive in terms of its niche focus on contemporary photography.

She invited photographers from around the globe to participate in the Artist in Residency Programme during her tenure and create new work about Ireland. Completed projects of note included “People of the Sea” a documentary project made in 2010 by French photographer Gilles Perrin, that portrayed fishermen working in the Cork Harbour area, initially instigated at Sirius and later developed in partnership with the West Cork Arts Centre. Another notable project was “My Last Day at Seventeen” by American Artist, Doug DuBois, a 4-year residency project documenting and portraying young people living in Cobh, for which Doug was recognized with prestigious Guggenheim and MacDowell Fellowships in the United States in 2013 and a book in 2015 which will published by Aperture Foundation in New York.

Through Peggy’s Directorship, Sirius has hosted internationally celebrated photographers such as Simon Norfolk, who completed a residency with the Irish Army during Cork Capital of Culture in 2005 in Liberia and Kosovo. Sirius was the driving force behind the project, “Welcome to the Hotel Africa” exhibited during the Capital of Culture year in Cork. Other exhibitions and residencies have included: Martin Parr, Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, Jackie Nickerson, Imogen Cunningham, Michelle Sank, Maleonn Ma, Roger Ballen, Richard Mosse, Sputnik Photographic Collective and many others. Sirius was also instrumental in helping Irish Photographers exhibit their work in Poland, Brasilia and China with the support of Culture Ireland, The Arts Council and Cork County Council – “Postcards from the Celtic Tiger” a group exhibition of Irish photography and video exhibited in Shanghai at the Xuhi Art Museum in 2010, in partnership with Cork Film Centre was one of these projects.

Sirius’ multidisciplinary arts programme also developed under Peggy’s directorship. Music concerts with the likes of Martin Hayes and Denis Cahill, Damien Rice, Freddie White, Rodrigo and Gabriele, Mark Geary, Luka Bloom, Interference and Damien Dempsey, as well as local group, Trio, performed at Sirius. The Cobh Maritime Song Festival, which ran for 5 years, invited international acts from Poland, England and the United States to Cork. Exhibition programming at Sirius supported local, national and international artists and also created developmental exhibition/residency projects like: “The Harbour Project”, “Crossing the Waves” “Future Image Asia Europe Conference for Young Photographers” and “Contemporary Souvenir”. These programmes brought together Irish artists, local community groups, young people and specialists in traditional craft and sometimes science into the mix. Local artists were supported by the team at Sirius through the realisation of exhibitions of group shows; “Open House” and “Art From the East” and one person shows by Irish artists: Mark Hathaway, David Barrett, Gary Kearney, Suzy O’Mullane, Mick O’Shea, Mairead Geary, Guy Heatherington and Bernadette Cotter.

It is with regret that the Staff and Board of Sirius Arts Centre say goodbye to Peggy Sue, but wish her ever success in this new phase of her career, and we thank her for her dedication and expertise which she so generously gave.

A subcommittee from the Board of the Sirius Arts Centre will be shortly advertising the position of Artistic Director/ Administrator.

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