SharkChic is the business of Meredith (Meri) Peach, artist, fibre sculptor and basket maker.
I am an Australian fibre sculptor working with natural fibres and reclaimed synthetic materials. My route to this career was circuitous. Since I was a child I have been interested in art and nature, and as an adult I have worked in both art and biology. I completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts and worked for several years as an artist, illustrator and photographer. Feeling that the more analytical side of my personality was not being satisfied, however, I later returned to university to do a Bachelor of Science and PhD in biology, and thereafter worked as a marine biologist. My nickname at the time was Shark Chick – and I’m not the only one; it’s a moniker often given to women working with sharks. I often joked that if I ever returned to being an artist, that is what I would call my business.
I first experimented with basket making in 2002 and soon after branched out into fibre sculpture. Over the next decade I gradually phased out my scientific work as my artistic practice became full-time. My biology background continues to influence my work, which often references structures in nature and human relationships with the environment. I have taught fibre sculpture and basketry workshops since 2005. I regularly exhibit my work in group and solo gallery exhibitions, some of which I have also curated. I sell my baskets through Sturt Gallery and Timeless Textiles. I was a founding member, former President and Newsletter Editor of Basketry NSW Inc. I also write about fibre and basketry (see a recent article here), and am currently researching and writing a book on basketry history in Australia.