A native of Germany Heide moved to South Africa with her family at age 12. At university, she studied both psychology and art earning a Bachelor’s degree in both subjects and completed a doctorate in psychology. Despite a lifetime of professional practice, art always held a fascination for her. In South Africa she had always loved observing insects and animals and drawing them, a focused and internal reverie against the backdrop of the sociopolitical turbulence in that country.
In 1988 she moved with her family to Hawaii, practicing psychology and providing specialized foster care to some of Hawaii’s troubled children. When the last of these children moved on, her interest in art resurfaced, and she discovered the Donkey Mill Art Center which has become a source of opportunity and inspiration for her. There she participated in workshops covering a range of different art forms. Her current work mostly involves ceramic and print media.
Heide’s work usually tells a story with an emphasis on social issues and survival in both the human and animal worlds. She has long been fascinated by ruggedness of this volcanic island, and the diversity and fragility of life. The centenary of the national parks has particularly brought into focus for her the vulnerability of the Hawaiian bats, and the current precariousness of the Ohia/Lehua forests.