New Artistic Director for ACE

ACE is pleased to announce the appointment of Artistic Director, experienced curator and arts leader, Dr Danielle Zuvela.

MEDIA RELEASE – Tuesday 9th January 2024


Contemporary visual arts organisation, ACE, is pleased to announce the appointment of Artistic Director, experienced curator and arts leader, Dr Danielle Zuvela.

Contemporary visual arts organisation, ACE, is pleased to announce the appointment of Artistic Director, experienced curator and arts leader, Dr Danielle Zuvela.
ACE Chair, Amanda Pepe, says, “This role attracted a large field of highly qualified candidates, both local and interstate, but we felt that Danni’s experience and ambitions were a perfect fit with the plans we have for ACE.”

“She will bring a unique perspective and plenty of energy to the role, building on the achievements of ACE in the past few years with a firm eye on what is possible into the future. It is an exciting time for ACE and contemporary and experimental artists.”

Zuvela says of her appointment, "As a researcher with a specialty in Australian art, I’ve been interested in ACE’s unique role in the Australian arts ecology, as a hotbed for experimentation and a lightning rod for experimental practice. That I now have the opportunity to be part of that history, and the organisation’s future is a huge honour, and a privilege.”

“I’m incredibly excited to be working with ACE as South Australia’s leading independent contemporary visual arts organisation. I’m excited about reconnecting with the wonderful artists and leaders of the Kaurna and Barngarla communities, and am looking forward to reconnecting and deepening my ties with the amazing community of talented and passionate local artists I’ve met on earlier visits to South Australia. There is a profound, thrilling depth to the South Australian arts scene which would be fascinating to any curator and I cannot wait to get started”.

Zuvela is the co-director of Gold Coast Rainbow Communities, and co-founded Gold Coast Pride Festival in 2020. Prior to this, she was Artistic Co-Director of Liquid Architecture (2013-2019), Australia’s leading organisation for artists working with sound, and has curated hundreds of programs of experimental art, performance and music. She has worked extensively in the Australian experimental arts sector, presenting academic research, publishing art criticism and contributing expertise as a peer at Creative Australia.

Zuvela has worked on major projects for the National Gallery of Victoria, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney Opera House, Institute of Modern Art, North Norwegian Art Centre and the Tate Britain. Through research, critical writing, residencies, exhibitions, discursive public programs and publications, Zuvela engages with artists and non-artists in the production of relationships and the exchange of knowledge. With a background in experimental music and performance, her practice uses research and ideas to fuel experiences and encounters where the natural world is often a protagonist.

Following on from the research project WHY LISTEN TO ANIMALS, co-curated with Joel Stern for Liquid Architecture, in the 2018 research project WHY LISTEN TO PLANTS, Zuvela curated a series of talks, walks, food, music and kayak performances in Berlin, Gold Coast, Daylesford, and exhibitions at DesignHub gallery, Melbourne, and at Nordnorsk Kunstnersenter, Svolvaer.

In 2021, Zuvela curated WATER RITES for ACE as part of the Tarnanthi Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, exploring the subjectivity of water as a non-human actor, featuring an exhibition, screen program performances, a seaweed forage and custom ferment.

Zuvela has participated in a number of residencies in Norway, Germany and the Gold Coast. Her ongoing artist research explores conditions of the endangered Southern Swamp Orchid through collaborations with botanists, queer ecologists and orchid growers in installations and sound works.

Photography by Thomas McCammon.

ACE Artistic Director

Danni Zuvela

ACE tampinthi, ngadlu Kaurna yartangka panpapanpalyarninthi (inparrinthi). Kaurna miyurna yaitya mathanya Wama Tarntanyaku. Parnaku yailtya, parnaku tapa purruna, parnaku yarta ngadlu tampnthi. Yalaka Kaurna miyurna itu yailtya, tapa purruna, yarta kuma puru martinthi, puru warri-apinthi, puru tangka martulayinthi.

ACE respectfully acknowledges the traditional Country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains and pays respect to Elders past and present. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land. We acknowledge that they are of continuing importance to the Kaurna people living today.