Present shared through exhibition

Dunedin autistic artist Tanea Paterson shows her mother’s Christmas present, a knee quilt which...
Dunedin autistic artist Tanea Paterson shows her mother’s Christmas present, a knee quilt which is on display in the iNDx art exhibition at Otago Museum. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
There is a reason why Tanea Paterson failed to give her mother a Christmas present last year.

It was not for lack of love or want.

Unbeknown to her mum, the Dunedin artist decided to create a quilted knee blanket which has images that are reminiscent of her childhood.

But she was late finishing it, and when it was completed earlier this year, it turned out so well that she decided to keep it and display it in the annual iNDx art exhibition at Otago Museum.

"Mum’s seen it, but she won’t get it until Christmas this year.

"She gave me the OK to display it."

Ms Paterson has autism and her artwork is one of about 30 on display in the exhibition which celebrates New Zealand’s neuro-diverse artists.

"The autism community is often isolated — spoken about, not with — and underestimated in abilities.

"The iNDx exhibition shifts this by stimulating an open, and refreshing dialogue on autism.

"The diversity, and beauty, of this year’s art is amazing. It is wonderful to share the talent of the neuro-diverse community with the public," Ms Paterson said.

The exhibition includes works from several well-known artists in the autism community — including two portraits by Tom Fox which are created using hundreds of his fingerprints.

Fortunately for Ms Paterson’s mother, the exhibition closes on December 10, which allows plenty of time to wrap the present and put it under the Christmas tree.

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