Colour photograph of Sylvia Boyes wearing a theatre costume which looks like a 'dirndl' (traditional folk costume from Austria and Bavaria). She is with two male performers who are also in costume. Sylvia was involved in the Eoan Group theatre company during the 1960s.

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

Woman wearing a dirndl costume. On her left is a man wearing white tights, long brown shorts, a floral sash belt and a striped vest over a white shirt. On her right is a man wearing a white shirt, blue sash belt, long grey shorts and white tights.

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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