Dr. J. Ashley Nixon is a photographer, filmmaker, writer, and university teacher. In his creative journey from his youth in Haworth, Yorkshire to living in Peru, then Calgary, Canada he has brought together his artistic talents, scientific credentials, and curiosity to explore and communicate on sustainability, culture and natural heritage.
Ashley earned his Ph.D. in ecology from Coventry University, England by studying environmental changes associated with woodland restoration on the beautiful island of Rum in the Scottish Hebrides. He is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society and teaches courses in sustainability and writing about images (photography) at Mount Royal University.
His writing portfolio began with a university textbook, Environmental Assessment in Practice (written with D. Owen Harrop). Developing Communities in Peru (2018) includes photographs taken between 1995-2015 in and around the Lurin Valley. He has published a history of the Calgary Canucks Rugby Club (2019), four photo books about female hockey, which focus on athletic development, and photo books about cosplayers (All Dressed Up) and musicians (Sledding). You can preview or purchase copies of these books here.
In 2020, Ashley released Beyond the Mask, a book of photographs and stories from local people in Mito about the Huaconada, an ancient ritual dance in Peru, recognized by UNESCO for its intangible cultural heritage. The book (written in English and Spanish) compliments his most recent documentary film La Máscara y Más which you can view on his Vimeo site here. His writing on sustainability, cultural themes and performance is featured in this Blog NixonsCan
Ashley established Betula Books in 2021 (see below) and published two new titles. Cobbled Together is a collaboration with his mother, featuring her Yorkshire dialect and other poems paired with his photographs from Haworth. Social Camouflage is a collection of studio portraits and location photographs that reflect on our changing society and challenged, often surreal, lives during the pandemic in 2020.
Ashley is passionate about creating visual stories that can help to better understand, manage, and communicate on sustainability, culture and its performance. If you are looking for help or collaboration, he would love to hear from you!
Betula Books is an independent publisher of work (via writing, art and photography) on sustainability, culture and natural heritage. If you are interested, please click on the button below and take a look. If you are an author, or aspiring author, looking to publish a body of work that fits within that scope, please get in touch with me!