sensory mediators Written by Anna-Marie Mirfin

Tūrei 5 Māehe

Tuesday 5 March


1. through ground glass (horizontal mast)

2. acid hollows (litmus-detritus sky sample)

3. dry snow (recycling station, marquette)

4. fertiliser (ruins of the fertiliser factory, marquette)

5. catchments 1, 2 & 3 (currents)

6. tinted streams & painting a drain (excavated drain)

7. thin soils 1, 2 & 3 (creatures)


1. Weights suspended wait to drop and anchor a horizontal mast. Metal, once submerged in the harbour, still carries the imprint of this aqueous body. Wave actions, salt and minerals are remembered on its surface. Our bodies, too, carry somatic memories of being immersed in these waters, they remember the energy of the waves long after being moved by them.1

2. You have sampled the atmosphere in thin strips of paper like litmus. The touch of your fingertips turns the purple paper pink. Underneath blue ink has bled into the wall. I like to see the sky like this. Outside I may have looked at this segment of sky for just a second, here I am lost within it for many minutes.

3. Wax, seeds and other detritus are the most valuable currencies here. Where old things become new things and we make from what is found. A place where pollutants and contaminants, the unwanted, discarded or invasive may find a regenerative or benign form, now and in the future.

4. Sulphur that once entered the atmosphere from volcanic origins now flows through stormwater in the form of fertiliser. Leaves encrusted with sulphur are caught in a grate of charred wood.2 Around its perimeter are the scattered ashes of weeds, perhaps previously coated in pesticide. 

5. The steps of the gallery act as a catchment for things like seeds, dust and eggshells. The construction site opposite is a container for many raw materials that will activate in the atmosphere and be dispersed elsewhere. Beyond the gallery, around Ōtepoti, erosion and aggregation are continually occurring. Currents of matter and energy are in constant motion and exchange. Your miniature catchments accumulate detritus you have encountered while walking.

6. A drain perforates the wall, its excavated contents –rubber and metal– lie below on a platform of storm water channels. 

7. Small collections of filament-like forms find edges and groves to nestle into. Organisms perhaps, clustering close to a favorable, nutrient-rich current.


1 When swimming and in the hours afterward, I move at a pace that’s in time with the harbour.

2 Wood and leaves as aparati –bodily-extensions, sensory mediators– training my sensitivity.

Anna-Marie Mirfin

Anna-Marie Mirfin is an artist based in Ōtepoti. She works across mediums including found materials, video and drawing. Recent exhibitions include Unformed Experience at New Lands Project Space and The Blue Oyster Artist Run Gym at Blue Oyster.