Black and white photograph of a young Sylvia Boyes at the beach, leaning against a beach wall, circa 1950s. Sylvia grew up in Leliebloem House in Cape Town until the age of 18, then moved to a house at Hof St, Cape Town.

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.

Description of Content

Young woman at the beach, leaning against a beach wall. She is wearing a white sleeveless top and dark-coloured pants. She appears to be laughing.

Physical Description

Black and white photograph


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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