Full-length, black and white photograph of Lindsay and Sylvia Motherwell dressed for a formal night out, 1970s. Lindsay is wearing a suit and Sylvia is wearing a cream satin gown and a fur coat. The collection also holds this dress worn by Sylvia (HT 56448). Lindsay and Sylvia were brought together by their mutual love of music and theatre.

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

Full-length portrait of man and woman standing in front of a patterned tile wall. Man is wearing a suit and woman is wearing a cream satin gown and a fur coat.

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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