Colour photograph of Sylvia Boyes talking to a friend at a party in Cape Town, South Africa, late 1960s. Sylvia is wearing the same shift dresas as in photograph MM 151145. Sylvia attended parties with Lindsay before they escaped apartheid to get married and move to Australia.

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

Two women seated next to each other on a couch, with plates of food on their knees. Both are talking animatedly and using their hands.

Physical Description

Colour 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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