Black and white photograph of a young Sylvia Boyes walking down a street in South Africa during the late 1950s. She is wearing a 1950s-style floral dress and has a basket over one arm. Sylvia lived at Leliebloem House in Cape Town until she was 18, then moved out to Gardens, Cape Town. She always loved fashion.

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 walking down a street. There is a truck parked at the curb behind her, and other women in 1950s dresses and men in suits also walking down the street.

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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