Ashleigh's passion and sensitive appreciation of the natural world, combined with her intuitive creativity form the essence of her work. Born in South Africa and later living in Tanzania and Uganda, Ashleigh (Ash), has always had a fascination and deep love for the African continent. 

Living in East and Southern Africa she has travelled to many of the continent's diverse, wild places and her heart is happiest when in the African bush. Immersed in the fabric of the wild, experiencing all the sights, sounds, smells and energy of nature is where she is in her element. If asked about some of the places she never wanted to leave, she would say the open plains of the Serengeti, the Masai Mara, the forests of Bwindi, Murchison Falls, beautiful Ishasha, Tsavo, Amboseli and the rest!

Alongside art, Ash also studied environmental and social sciences and loves to incorporate multiple layers of understanding into her chosen subject. For many years  she has been working primarily in charcoal, she loves its organic quality and the emotive quality of black and white. Her work is rendered with descriptive detail, high texture and contrast while at the same time maintaining a powerful, yet serene atmosphere. 

 Ashleigh Olsen with her Matriarch Elephant Charcoal Drawing


In nature Ash finds stillness, calm and balance as well as freedom. It is these elements of quietness and solitude that embody her work, creating a warm and calming space, the art is a window to the stillness of nature. Core to the essence of nature is freedom and wildness, it is these qualities in her subjects that the artist relates so deeply to; in the wild at heart she finds kindred spirits.

Currently Ash lives in Simon’s Town, South Africa, nestled between the mountains and ocean, on the tip of Africa. Exploring  the beauty, mystery and power of nature through art, she works to connect people to the natural world; to highlight environmental conservation and the need to live sustainably within our environment. 

Ashleigh has been exhibiting with Ebony Curated since 2011; Ebony has beautiful galleries in both Franschhoek and Cape Town, South Africa.


Conservation Initiatives and Contributions

The artist has participated in a number of conservation initiatives, either through volunteer work or through contributing artwork for fundraising and she will continue to do so throughout her life and career. If you are interested in collaborating with Ash, please get in touch, she is always interested to partner with exciting conservation and environmental initiatives. 


ANAI Leatherback Turtle Conservation Volunteer Project - Gondaca, Costa Rica.

David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year Competition - London, United Kingdom.

Finalist at David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year Competition - London, United Kingdom.

Uganda Conservation Foundation Fundraiser, Group Wildlife Exhibition - Kampala, Uganda.

2011 - 2014
Endangered Western Leopard Toad Conservation Volunteer Project - Cape Town, South Africa.

Rhino Protect & The Wailers Concert, Rhino Anti-Poaching Fundraiser - Cape Town, South Africa.

Shamwari Game Reserve Rhino Anti Poaching Fundraiser, Black Rhino Drawing - Cape Town, South Africa.

SANCCOB SeaBird Rescue African Penguin Fundraiser - Cape Town, South Africa.