Early 20th century New Zealand painter, political cartoonist and illustrator who worked in Sydney and Melbourne during the 1920s. A socialist and conscientious objector who was court-martialled and imprisoned twice in New Zealand, Henderson was the editor-illustrator of Tomorrow for six years, a sometimes notorious and always controversial NZ socialist weekly magazine that was launched in 1934.
Painter, cartoonist and illustrator, was born in London on 25 May 1879, the son of Andrew Henderson, a commercial clerk, and Alice née Otley. The family emigrated to New Zealand c.1885 and Andrew worked as a bank clerk in Christchurch and Palmerston North after leaving school. In 1903 he illustrated, wrote, edited and published two issues of Fun , a magazine of cartoons and humour, and in 1904 he became a commercial and lithographic artist with the Weekly Press . He joined the Christchurch artistic and literary scene, including being a member of the Canterbury Society of Arts.
A socialist and conscientious objector, Henderson was court-martialled and imprisoned twice in NZ at the end of WWI. On the second occasion he was sentenced to two years and on his release in 1920 he worked for a while as a stonemason in Wellington. He and his wife Pauline Henrietta Gibson, who had married in Christchurch in 1906, later moved to Henderson Valley where they built a studio and small house with minimal amenities and Kennaway attempted to support them by drawing a regular cartoon for the newly-established weekly, the Critic , where his only cartoons published under the pseudonym 'Falcon’ appeared (1923-24). From then on he always used his middle name, 'Kennaway’. Pauline became ill and they abandoned the land. While she recouperated in Auckland, Andrew moved to Sydney in 1925 where he sold cartoons and caricatures to a number of Sydney newspapers. Pauline joined him later. In 1931 Henderson visited Frederick Sinclaire in Melbourne and was introduced to local socialist groups.
The Hendersons returned to Christchurch in 1931 to live with Pauline’s widowed mother. In the 1930s Henderson was editor-illustrator of Tomorrow , a sometimes notorious and always controversial NZ socialist weekly magazine launched in 1934, which survived for six years. Cartoons he (as Kennaway) did for it include: Strays (two dogs with politicians’ heads, very literal) 1934 (ill. Grant 123), The Wise Bird to the Hungry Ass [Labour] 1935 (ill. Grant 131) and The Democrat Party – A Flop of the Reactionaries ('Election Freak/ This is the stalking Democrat/ Wound up for for several weeks/ It’s really most remarkable,/ They say it even speaks’ – poncy man with straw in hair, 'beads for the natives’ and butterfly net to catch 'Votes’) 1935 (ill. 131), Highly Coloured (caricature) 1936 (ill, 154), The Thug [Fascism with double head of Hitler and Mussolini] has burnt its fingers badly in Spain 1937 (ill. 146), Say it with Flowers (Social Democracy offering flower to thug 'Fascism’ 1937 (ill. 158), The Only One Who Finds It Pays ('Press’ as prostitute Death – very effective simple drawing) 1937 (ill. 164) and The Runaway 1938 (ill. 146). In December 1939 Tomorrow published his Psycho-Pathology in Politics , which led to John A. Lee’s expulsion from the Labour Party. Shortly afterwards, in the name of wartime censorship, the police told the printer he would be prosecuted if he continued to print the magazine. He died in Christchurch on 17 January 1960; Pauline predeceased him, dying in April 1940.
Henderson’s cartoons are radical in subject and many are also meticulous in detail. Ghost of Ramsay : “So…you too, fail them”’, published in Fool’s Carnival in 1949 (as usual signed 'Kennaway’), is arguably more 'art’ than 'cartoon’.