AN ARTIST has created an exhibition of paintings inspired by interviews with autistic people.

Mahlia Amatina, 33, was inspired to undertake the project due to her own experiences with Asperger’s Syndrome. The exhibition of abstract artwork is now installed in the entrance foyer of St Mark’s Hospital in Maidenhead.

Miss Amatina surveyed over 30 people on the autistic spectrum, and attempted to express their perception of the world through her art.

Miss Amatina said: “When I was diagnosed two years ago, I wanted to find out more about how other people experience it. I sent out a survey, and got responses from all over the world. Five of the paintings were made from feedback from the survey, while the other ones reflect more of my personal experience.

“One of the most popular traits people described was a need for structure, and many people I surveyed drew lines to reflect that need for structure. Others drew or wrote sentences to describe anxiety, meltdowns, or their unique perspectives on the world.”

The installation is to be kept in St Mark’s Hospital for the next six months.

Miss Amatina hoped the installation might raise some awareness as to the nature of autism. She said: “Many people don’t know much about autism, but through this people may find they can relate. A lot of people think that Aspergers is a predominantly male syndrome, so as a woman I wanted to raise awareness of women with Aspergers.

“Many people with the syndrome are presented as the IT guy, or geeky – and not as musical or creative.”