Colour photograph of Sylvia and Lindsay Motherwell in a backyard at a party in Melbourne during the 1970s. They are both dressed in 1970s fashion, with Sylvia in a matching red top and pants. Sylvia always loved fashion. Lindsay and Sylvia were a very active social couple who enjoyed music, theatre and social gatherings.

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

Man and woman at a backyard party. Man wears a blue polo shirt and white shorts, and holds a glass of red wine. Woman is wearing red low-rise pants and a red and white checked tie-up crop top.

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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