Join us next Thursday 6 October from 5pm to celebrate the opening of Reuben Paterson’s exhibition Cream.

Reuben Paterson (b.1973 Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau, Ngati Rangitihi, Ngāi Tūhoe, Tūhourangi) harnesses the mesmerizing properties of light. Paterson is renowned for his inimitable, iridescent paintings, made through a distinctive application of glitter on canvas. These paintings encompass all manner of subject matter – from cloudscapes to wild cats, botanical blooms, kōwhaiwhai, and exploding fireworks – each providing a source of exploration, contemplation, and self-reflection for both artist and viewer.

Paterson invited Dina Jezdic to produce a written response to accompany his latest exhibition. Cream brings together a series of paintings featuring kōwhaiwhai and wild cats, with the title playing upon a number of reference points and sensual innuendo. Jezdic writes,

The works are read as couples in their proximities. They are bound together in dreams and fantasy, depicted as opposing forces and urges driving our desires. One-half of these enchanting companions derive inspiration from kōwhaiwhai, as the genealogical markers in a wharenui, and they are paired with an image of subversive appropriation – an exoticised wild cat. To engage us in the ongoing investigation of the everyday power dynamics, Paterson interrogates conventional relationship roles, while creating references for empowering queer lives. He frames the intersection of what it means to be in a relational space between Māori identity and sexuality. These pairings are disorienting, and our interpretations of their cultural significance are too. Something is unsettling in their associations. Neither can be tamed, but both are the subject of colonial exoticism.

Dina Jezdic is an independent curator, Toipoto Creative Mentoring Programme Director, community organiser and art writer. Her current projects investigate what connects indigeneity, diaspora and belonging. She is currently pursuing a doctorate at University of Auckland in the area of Serving Society: Creating Equity, Diversity and Justice focusing on collaborative autoethnography, decolonizing curatorial practice and contemporary indigenous performance art. She co-curated Te Whāinga: A Culture Lab on Civility in partnership with Smithsonian Asian-Pacific American Center and is the inaugural Obama Foundation Fellow: Asia-Pacific region

You can read the full text from Dina Jezdic here or via the exhibition page on our website.

Contact us for more information or to request a preview of the exhibition.


  • Thu 06 Oct


  • 5:00 pm — 7:00 pm


  • 42 Victoria Street
  • Wellington, 6011