About

Biography

B.1976. Ashleigh Downey is an ecological artist who takes an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach to her practice. Formally trained as a textile designer at Central St. Martins, London (1995-98), Ashleigh works across disciplines as artist, researcher, curator, space maker, and facilitator. MA in Social Practice and the Creative Environment, 2018, LIT.

Part of a research project with the European Academy of Participation (EAP) to develop a module in participatory practice for universities and cultural organisations across Europe (2017-2018). Launched Blooming Bunting (2015), an experimental initiative promoting biodiversity, sustainability, creativity and community connection. Collaborates with Green Sod Ireland, a WildAcres land trust, to develop a new art and science focused education programme. Ashleigh is also on the artist panel at the National Gallery of Ireland and at Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane (since 2001).

From 2012 – 2013 Ashleigh curated Soul Kids, the family area for the Body and Soul Festival (2012 & 2013) and the Electric Picnic (2013), Ireland’s most prestigious festivals. As Visual Arts Programmer for The Ark, A Cultural Centre for Children (2008-11) curated a number of flagship visual art exhibitions, events and engagements including Earth Explorers, Exhibit Me!, and Crafted Creatures; a partnership programme with the Crafts Council of Ireland as part of The Year of Craft 2011.

Ashleigh was awarded the Youth Arts Incubation Award by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (2012) in collaboration with 2 other artists. She also co-curated Outside the Lines, a contemporary drawing exhibition for Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council in 2011. Assistant Curator to the Collection Department at The Irish Museum of Modern Art (2006-08), where exhibitions include, Three, The Burial of Patrick Ireland and Co-Curator of William Hogarth : Prints from the Madden Arnholz Collection.

Ashleigh has exhibited internationally with work in the permanent collection at Richard F. Brush Gallery, Canton, NY.


Curriculum Vitae

Education
2020-2021 UCD Innovation Acadamy, Postgrad. Design Thinking for Sustainability
2016-2018 Limerick School of Art and Design, MA Social Practice & the Creative Environment (MASpace)
2015 + Burren College of Art, Clare, MA Art & Ecology
1995-1998 Central St. Martins College of Art & Design, London, BA (Hons) Textile Design
1994-1995 Camberwell College, London, Diploma in Foundation Studies
1989-1994 St. Columbus College, Dublin, Leaving Certificate and O Levels

Training
2020 Climate Reality Project (training with former US Vice President Al Gore), Climate Reality Leadership Corps: Global Training
2020 National Youth Council of Ireland,Games in Youth Work, Engaging Young People in Climate Action and Development Education

2018 Graphic Design for Print, Skillnet, DIT Bolton Street
2016 Permaculture Association, Permaculture Design Certificate
2011 ECO-UNESCO, Leadership & Strategic Sustainable Development
2010-2012 Marino College, Child Development / Childcare / SNA (Fetec 5)
2009 HSE Child Protection – Awareness Raising Training, Keeping Safe Certificate
2009 ECO-UNESCO, Introduction to Sustainable Development (Fetec 5)
2008 University College Dublin (UCD), Collection Care Course
2007-2008 National Youth Arts Programme, NYCI, NUI Certificate in Youth Arts

Exhibitions

2021 SENSORIUS – where the skin meets the eye,Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
2020 Water, ArtNetdlr, Online Exhibition, Ireland
2019 Earth, ArtNetdlr, Online Exhibition, Ireland
2019 Hinterland, ArtNetdlr, Eblana House, Dublin, Ireland
2018 In Progress, Unit 3, Dublin, Ireland
2016 Galway 2020, The PorterShed, Galway, Ireland
2016 EARTH is our Chrysalis, 126 Gallery, Galway, Ireland
2016 Impressions, Galway International Arts Festival, GMIT, Galway, Ireland
2016 An Emptying Landscape, Burren College of Art, Clare, Ireland
2015 TRASNA V, The Courthouse Gallery, Clare, Ireland
2015 PhotoIreland Korean Photobooks: Visual Response, Burren College, Ireland
2012 Mean Time Between Failures, Commonplace, Dublin, Ireland
2012 Elemental Birds (II), R-Space, Lisburn, Northern Ireland
2011 Elemental Birds (I), The Richard F. Brush Gallery, Canton, NY
2009 Earth Explorers, The Ark, A Cultural Centre for Children, Dublin, Ireland

Collections

The Richard F. Brush Gallery Permanent Collection, Canton, NY
Private Collections in Ireland, United States, and the UK

Awards
2020 STEAM in Youth Work Residency Grant, National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI)
2016 Outstanding Artist Award presented by the founders of Impressions Biennial Galway Siobhan Piercy and Leonie King.
2012 Youth Arts Incubation Award, by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, in collaboration with contemporary artists, Edel Campbell and Joe Coveney, for a sustainable research project DeepentheMistery.

Appointments
2020-Current Climate Ambassador, An Taisce, The National Trust for Ireland
2020-Current Climate Reality Leader,The Climate Reality Project, Worldwide


Other Relevant Work
2018-Current Artist and Education Panel, The National Gallery, Dublin
2017-Current Environmental Arts Coordinator, Green Sod Ireland Land Trust, Ireland
2017-2018 Advisory Panel, European Academy of Participation (EPA)
2015-Current Founder & Creative Director, Blooming Bunting Community Initiative, Ireland
2014 Creative Consultant, Bushfire Festival, Swaziland
2012-2013 Creative Director, Soul Kids, Electric Picnic Festival, Co. Laois
2012-2013 Creative Director, Soul Kids, Body and Soul Festival, Co. Westmeath
2011 Co-Curator, Outside the Lines, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council
2008-2011 Visual Arts Programmer, The Ark, A Cultural Centre for Children, Dublin
2006-2-07 Assistant Curator : Collections, Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), Dublin
2004-2005Information Mediator, Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), Dublin
2004-2006 Art Officer, Pact Woodland Project, Dublin
2001-Current Artist, Guides and Lecturers Panel, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Dublin
2000-Current Art and Interior Design Tutor, Education and Training Boards Ireland
1999-Current Education Facilitator, Dublin

Organisations include:
Education and Training Boards Ireland, Central Mental Hospital Dundrum, Bloom Fringe Festival,Blue Fire Street Festival, St. Nicholas Montessori College, Temple Bar Cultural Trust, Roolaboola Childrens Art Festival, Glenart College, Marino College, Portobello School, Pine Forest Arts Centre, Crosscare East Wicklow Youth Service, Vocational Education Committee (VEC),