Black dress with yellow trimming around the neckline, waist band and hem. It is St Michael brand, UK chain Marks and Spencer's home brand. Sylvia may have bought it in London in 1969 before moving to Australia. Sylvia Motherwell loved fashion throughout her life, and had many beautiful clothes.

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.

Physical Description

Black calf-length dress with yellow trimming around the neckline, waist band and hem. St Michael brand, Marks and Spencer.


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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