Black and white photograph of Sylvia Boyes at work as a domestic for Mrs Zuidema and her family, 1960s. Mrs Z, as she was known, was a kind employer, and helped Sylvia leave South Africa to be with Lindsay Motherwell whom she married in London. They stayed in contact until Mrs Z died in 1992.

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 serving a bottle of wine on a silver plate to a girl and a dog, who are both seated at a table with napkins tucked into their collars. Table set with fine china and silver cutlery, as well as candlesticks and floral arrangement. Woman wears a grey maid's uniform.

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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