A different kind of academia

Thanks to a diverse, supportive and holistic learning environment, sculpture student, Anna-Marie Mirfin developed as a person and an artist through a Bachelor of Visual Arts degree.

Anna-Marie Mirfin


Art school is a great way of combining my desire for learning and researching with my desire for creativity and art making

What words come to mind when you think about the Dunedin School of Art? Is it painting, workshops, perhaps sculptures? 
For Anna-Marie Mirfin it’s the diversity and support which she experienced while studying towards a Bachelor of Visual Arts.  

Anna-Marie took a pivot to sculpture at the Dunedin School of Art after studying a science degree at Otago University. 
"I chose to study science at uni because I thought this would be a more viable career path but soon found this experience didn’t really work for me at the time. I felt burnt out and confused about what I really wanted to do".  

It wasn’t until she landed a job at the Dunedin Art Gallery that her future became clearer. 
"Being surrounded by art all the time made me eager to make more of my own". 

Now, Anna-Marie is in the final stages of completing a Bachelor of Visual Arts, majoring in sculpture.   
"I chose to study with the sculpture department as I had heard that it was open to a wide variety of media and artistic practices. This seemed to give me a large scope for experimentation" she says. 

"Art school is a great way of combining my desire for learning and researching with my desire for creativity and art making".  

One of the strengths of Art School was its attention to holistic wellbeing and learning.
It’s been a place where I’ve developed both personally and artistically. I have appreciated and been really surprised by the sense of community at school.

For Anna-Marie, the Art School was creatively and intellectually stimulating. “It addresses more ways of being, and is more inspirational through the encouragement of free-thinking, self-organising, and creativity. 

Anna-Marie offers words of wisdom to those who are thinking about undertaking a degree at the Dunedin School of Art.
I would encourage people who may be in a similar situation to the one I experienced - to consider the validity of developing their art practice, and if they can, give it a go

Her workUrban Ecologies will be featuring at the DSA SITE exhibition in late November.  
"The installation I’m planning for SITE will be a web of fibres with various objects both suspended and grounded within it - all connected in relation to one another. Videos of moments that made particular impressions on me will also be embedded through the room".  


Anna-Marie Mirfin