Letter from Sylvia Boyes to a woman named Iris, who is probably Lindsay Motherwell's sister. Sylvia thanks Iris for welcoming her to the family, and describes herself and her relationship with Lindsay. Sylvia's lively personality comes through in her writing. The letter is undated but would have been written on 1969 when Lindsay had sailed to London and Sylvia was waiting to follow him. It is referenced in another letter from Sylvia to Lindsay in late 1969.

Sylvia Boyes (a South African-born orphan) and Lindsay Motherwell (a Melbourne-born drummer) met in Cape Town, South Africa in 1967 through their theatre connections. They fell in love but due to apartheid laws were forced to leave South Africa to marry in London. They subsequently relocated permanently to Melbourne in 1970.

Physical Description

Letter, undated. Annotated with comments 'please don't be angry with me love' and 'photors [sic] I send to you later'.


Statement of Historical Significance:
This collection provides a significant opportunity to represent political and personal freedom as a motivation for migrating to Australia within the international context of both apartheid in South Africa and the end of the White Australia policy in Australia. The personal narrative is well documented and the objects provide a material way to follow the lives of both Lindsay and Sylvia, both separately and where they coincide in South Africa and onwards together to Melbourne. While this is ultimately a love story, it plays out through the collection against the backdrop of apartheid South Africa, sixties London and an increasingly multicultural Australia.

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