A black and white proof sheet of nine professional portraits of a young Sylvia Boyes, South Africa, 1950s. The images may have been taken for her theatre audition applications. Sylvia first auditioned for the Eoan Group when she was 21, and she was part of the chorus from at least 1967.

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

Nine black and white photographs of a young woman, printed on an A4 sheet. She is wearing a floral dress and several sets of beaded necklaces. In four of them she is also wearing a coat, which appears to be lined with the same floral material.

Physical Description

Single black and white proof sheet with nine portraits.


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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