nee Ash

Born in Surrey, Emily Ash graduated from Goldsmith's College, London in Fine Art (Textiles, 1st Class Hons). The following year she was awarded a British Council Postgraduate scholarship to study tapestry and sculpture in Warsaw, Poland.

Returning to Britain, she spent the years from 1990 to 1992 in Edinburgh, Scotland where she set up and directed the Ash Gallery, curating and organising art and craft shows alongside her own work. In 1993, she was chosen to be the Director of the Newlyn Art Gallery, Cornwall, the first full-time woman Director of the Company, the youngest Gallery director in the country, and the first practising artist to hold that position. [Curators before 1974 were not 'Directors' as such, and only a very few such as Henry RHEAM and Percy CRAFT in the early days, and Michael CANNEY in the 1960s were artists as well as curators and organisers.] She managed her post with distinction, curating and organising an array of contemporary art and craft exhibitions.

In 1995, she led the planning for the massive retrospective for the centennial of NAG, with all the celebrations to accompany that grand occasion. As that set of events was approaching, she was also overseeing 'the most important redevelopment of the Newlyn Art Gallery since it was built a century ago' (Douglas Williams, Western Morning News, April, 1994). Made ready in advance of the centennial year, this included new flooring, a completely new arrangement of rooms and gallery spaces, and the addition of a lift between floors and modernised toilet facilities amongst other improvements.

The centennial year opened with an Arts Council Collection of work selected from 27 contemporary artists, and continued with a major show by Terry FROST - New Work at Eighty.  From June until August, she curated 'Newlyn Art Gallery: 100 Years, Context and Continuity' in three parts:  Newlyn School (1895-1939); The Middle Period; Continuity.

With her marriage to the graphic designer, Martin Nixon, and the advent of children, Emily resigned in 2000, and has begun a new and successful career in jewellery making, creating contemporary handcrafted pieces from silver, gold, other art metals and rare gems. She exhibits locally, and also widely at Trade and Craft fairs around the UK.


Jewellery, textile artist, arts curator & administrator


2019: Open Studios Cornwall


Hardie (1995) 100 Years in Newlyn, Diary of a Gallery (photo likeness)

WCAA files