Prisoner 20671 Alsbeta Weisz, an Auschwitz survivor, was my late mother in law.
She is the protagonist of this project. It traces her life symbolically through metaphors associated with her Shabbat candlesticks, the only objects surviving from her family home in Czechoslovakia.
In 1950 she arrived in Australia, the trauma of war still weighing heavily upon her shoulders. Hence I use the necklace as the designated art jewellery object to express this.
In 1955, Alsbeta gave birth to my husband. She always referred to him as her gift from G-d, the child born in her new world filled with light and hope.
Lousje Skala is a contemporary jewellery artist. She holds a Masters Degree in Visual Art and a Masters Degree in Fine Art, both from Monash University. She completed undergraduate studies in Art and Design at RMIT University.
Lousje's art practice is predominantly concerned with interpersonal engagement, social connection and disconnection.
She is a first generation Australian whose Dutch parents came to Australia in 1950. During WWII her father, a Dutch resistance fighter, was incarcerated by the Nazis. Unlike his best friend, Lousje’s late uncle, he managed to escape. She has always been inspired by his extraordinary inner strength and powerful, survival instincts. Little wonder that she valued and appreciated the remarkable journey of Alsbeta Weisz, her mother-in-law.
In 1994, Lousje converted to Judaism.
In 2013, she was included in the National Gallery of Victoria’s major exhibition, Melbourne Now. She exhibits both nationally and internationally. Her works have been acquired by The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (Sydney), the Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Paris) and important private collectors.