ArtNow is pleased to announce the appointment of the inaugural commissioning editor for ArtNow Essays, Tendai John Mutambu. He will be responsible for commissioning and editing a series of fortnightly essays that will launch in late February 2021 on a new page, Essays, on the ArtNow.NZ site.

The first commissioned essay will be released in late February; to receive this and other informed and original commentary on art fortnightly, please subscribe here.

Tendai John Mutambu was selected from a strong field of applicants by an editorial advisory established to support the initiative made up of independent writers and art professionals from throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.

Tendai is a writer and curator based in Bristol, United Kingdom where he is the Assistant Curator of Commissions and Public Programmes at Spike Island. He was previously the Programming Fellow at Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival where he curated Artist in Focus: Marwa Arsanios; and the Assistant Curator, Contemporary at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre where he curated several exhibitions including David Clegg’s loca projects / corrections (2017) and Sriwhana Spong’s first solo museum exhibition, a hook but no fish (2018).

Tendai brings to this role a wealth of experience, a commitment to nurturing writers and a keen interest in developing the essay form. Of this new venture he writes:

“My aim is to develop an online venue where writing’s imaginative potential meets editorial rigour. I hope to develop artists’ and writers’ practices by commissioning and publishing intellectually challenging, carefully researched, and judiciously edited essays. The essay is a form that can draw readily from journalism, criticism, and memoir, and as such I hope to cultivate a culture of informed and original commentary on contemporary art.”

ArtNow Essays has been conceived as a platform for good new independent writing on contemporary art. It is published by ArtNow.NZ, with funding from Creative New Zealand Toi Aotearoa and support from a number of public art galleries from throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.

Galleries supporting the Essays include:

Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi Victoria University of Wellington

Artspace Aotearoa

Blue Oyster Art Project Space

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū

City Gallery Wellington Te Whare Toi

CoCA Centre for Contemporary Art Toi Moroki

Dunedin Public Art Gallery

Enjoy Contemporary Art Space

Expressions Whirinaki

Govett Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre

Gus Fisher Gallery, The University of Auckland

New Zealand Portrait Gallery Te Pūkenga Whakaata


Pātaka Art + Museum

Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui

Tauranga Art Gallery Toi Tauranga

Te Manawa

Te Tuhi

Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery

The Dowse Art Museum

The Physics Room