Colour photograph of Sylvia Boyes wearing a grass skirt costume from the Eoan Group's production of 'South Pacific', 1968. Sylvia was involved in the Eoan Group theatre company during the 1960s, and met her future husband Lindsay Motherwell through this production.

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 grass skirt costume. Costume consists of a grass skirt tied with a blue ribbon waistband and a crop top covered in green leaves and red and pink flowers. She also has a pink and white flower in her hair, green eyeshadow and red lipstick.

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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