James Tapsell-Kururangi (Aotearoa New Zealand) is a Māori curator and artist, currently working as project facilitator of Papatūnga at Te Tuhi in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Launching in March 2023, Papatūnga is a programme for arts practitioners based at an urban marae (traditional meeting house). Papatūnga will be co-designed by participants to offer professional learning through artistic exchange and experimentation. James developed the pilot programme for this in 2022, drawing on Māori concepts of collectivity like whakawhānaungatanga (establishing relationships with others), sharing of kai (food), kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face exchange), to facilitate the time he spent together with the artists.

During his residency at Delfina Foundation, James will work at Metroland Cultures and continue to develop concepts for Papatūnga, learning from Metroland Cultures’ own artist support programmes, such as Peer to Peer, and how they work within the Brent community. James will also spend time getting to know the artists in Metroland Studios with a view to future exchanges between artists in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

At Wairau Māori Art Gallery in Whangarei, James recently co-curated, with Karl Chitham, the solo exhibition, Kei Muri Nga Mea I Te Rā, by Shane Cotton, one of New Zealand’s leading Māori artists. In the exhibition text, These Painted Histories Which Blossom In The Sun: A collection of thoughts on Shane Cotton’s exhibition Kei muri ngā mea i te rā, James traced the ontology of Light through the Māori stories of creation, and the Māori art histories of painting and colonisation. Other recently curated shows include; Ata Koia!, 2022 at Te Tuhi, Te Pō, 2022 at Papatūnga.

James is a practicing artist whose moving image works build from his family whakapapa, his geological ties to place, sites of significant histories and oral histories told to him by his family. Recent exhibitions include: A portrait with my Father, 2022 at City Gallery Wellington for the group show Matarua curated by Shannon Te Ao; and He Waiata Aroha, 2021, at Enjoy Contemporary Art Gallery. Recent writings include, In response to Thus the Blast Carried It, Into the World 它便随着爆破, 冲向了世界 by Qianye Lin and Qianhe ‘AL’ Lin, 2022, The Physics Room., and Gains, Grandmother, Grey Street, 2020 in “As needed, as possible: emerging discussions on art, labour and collaboration in Aotearoa” Enjoy, in collaboration with GLORIA Books.

James was born in Rotorua, Aotearoa New Zealand. And is currently based in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.


Te Tuhi and Metroland Cultures


Kent Gardner and the British Council Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific

About this residency

Through this new partnership, a residency is offered to a New Zealand curator interested in testing and developing new approaches to a collaborative practice bridging artists and communities.

The curator, selected through an open call, is provided the opportunity to gain training, skills, and experience by being embedded part-time for three months in the curatorial workings of Metroland Cultures in Brent, London. In addition the curator will benefit from free time to pursue their own research, receive mentorship and engage in peer-to-peer exchange by means of being in-residence at Delfina Foundation.


Spring 2023


Please note all resident biographies are accurate at the time of the residency.