Colour photograph of Sylvia Motherwell in a backyard in Melbourne during the 1970s. She is holding a strawberry in each hand, and has a third one in her mouth. She is dressed in 1970s fashion, in a matching red top and pants. Sylvia loved fashion throughout her life.

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 in a backyard. She has her hands up with a strawberry in each hand. A third strawberry is being held between her teeth. She is wearing red low-rise pants with white stitching, and a read 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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