Dr. Vickie Heaney
Printmaker. Seabird Ecologist. Wildlife Guide
Vickie is driven by a quest for knowledge and a passion for natural history. With a degree in Zoology from Oxford University and PhD on Seabirds, she has completed ornithological research and guiding contracts all around the world. Vickie now combines working aboard expedition cruise ships and Island Restoration work with Linocut print-making on the shipwreck strewn Isles of Scilly in the UK.
Fusing her expert wildlife knowledge and a great eye for composition, Vickie works in her small studio by the sea to translate the islands’ natural and maritime history into unique and beautiful artworks that allow you to bring a bit of Scilly into your home. Employing clean stylish lines and vibrant colours Vickie’s work explores the bold patterns and images abundant across the islands. Her studio at Porthmellon is part of the Phoenix Crafts Workshops where you can visit and chat to Vickie and the other artists as they create their work.
‘I absolutely love lino as a medium; it’s a real hands-on process mixing technology and creativity. I love the way it forces you to really think about your subject and pare down the detail to tell its story using just the bold patterns and shapes that lino allows.’
Working as Seabird Ecologist for the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust, Vickie is part of the world-renowned Seabird Recovery Project a partnership endeavour to protect the seabirds in Scilly by keeping St Agnes and Gugh and the uninhabited seabird islands 'rat-free'. Each summer she works to monitor and protect the international numbers of seabirds found breeding across the archipelago and many of her artwork inspirations are gained out in the field, jumping on and off the outer rocks and islets.
In the winter months when the seabirds and the visitors have left the islands Vickie travels further afield for work. Swapping puffins for penguins, she combines her in depth knowledge and approachable personality to engage and enthuse guests on expedition ships in some of the world’s most remote and spectacular locations including Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. In recent years Vickie has also spent two full seasons living and working at the Museum at Grytviken, South Georgia – she has lots of stories about chocolate rationing and the worst football pitch in the world!
Vickie is an accomplished and engaging public speaker and has recently set up Isles of Scilly Tours with fellow Islander Jess Vian, offering walking tours across the islands, as well as presenting both online and in person to diverse audiences including, U3A, Rotary, University of Exeter, Isles of Scilly Museum and 5-Islands School. She is a passionate and engaging presenter and has featured on a number of TV shows including Spring watch, Countryfile, and An Island Parish as well as local and regional news and radio programmes. She worked for 3 years as a researcher at the BBC’s Natural History Unit and more recently as a fixer for various TV productions in Scilly.
‘Through my artwork and communication my goal is to share a love of the natural world and inspire the joy of that connection to animals and places in others to foster a desire to protect the things we love.’
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