Oral History - Mariana Vojsk-Magdic

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Mariana Vojsk-Magdic

Mariana Vojsk-Magdic interviewed by Chris King 14th November 2011 at her home in Roselands.

Mariana Vojsk-Magdic was born in Slovenia. The German army occupied Slovenia in 1941, when Mariana was aged 8 years old. She suddenly had to speak German, an uncle was tortured and shot, and she witnessed people being sent to a concentration camp. After the war the communist government took over. Mariana met her husband, the established sculptor Milan Vojsk. Communist Slovenia was suffocating for artists as they had to make works the government wanted. They escaped to Austria and then migrated to Australia in 1956. After sometime in the Bonegilla migrant camp where Mariana’s first child was born, the family settled in Sydney, moving to Roselands in 1965. Milan quickly became a successful sculptor in Australia, working from the studio in his Roselands home. But by the early 1970s he had developed schizophrenia and only produced small works after that. A gallery in Slovenia mounted a retrospective of Milan Vojsk’s work in 1996, not long before he died.

INTRO TO THE SOUND CLIP After the German occupation Mariana’s father was retrained as a turner for the railway manufacturing centre in Maribor. She tells a chilling story of taking his lunch to him at work one day.