Driftwood: Escape and survival through artBy Eva de Jong-Duldig
‘We are spread out in every direction of the wind.’ – Karl Duldig 1941
In 1938 sculptor Karl Duldig, his wife Slawa Horowitz-Duldig – inventor of the modern foldable umbrella – and their baby daughter Eva, left their home in Vienna for an uncertain future. They found a brief refuge in Singapore before arriving in Sydney on 25 September 1940. Australia was at war: they were classified as enemy aliens and interned in an isolated camp in northern Victoria.
Karl said, ‘A game of tennis saved my life’. The story follows the family’s narrow escape from Nazi Austria, as well as the recovery of all their Viennese art and other possessions after the war.
Spanning three continents and three generations, it poignantly captures both the loss that families encounter when they are dislocated by war and the challenges they face when adapting to a new way of life.
‘This book offers an insight into the cultural life of Australia at a time of enormous change, politically and artistically; a profound lesson in the experience of emigration in the worst of circumstances, but also the transforming contribution to the life of the nation through the talents of immigrants like Karl and Slawa Duldig.’ – Dr Gerard Vaughan AM (Director, National Gallery of Australia)