Black and white photograph of Sylvia and Lindsay Motherwell at an event at the Melbourne Hilton circa 1970s-80s. Lindsay and Sylvia were very social throughout their lives in Melbourne and Sydney.

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 seated at a dinner table. She is wearing a floral dress and shawl, with pearl jewellry, he is wearing a suit.

Physical Description

Black and white photograph inside a gold card which has the Melbourne Hilton logo on the front. Opposite the photo is an illustration of a building with the details of the hotel. On the back are the details of the photographer.


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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