Blue Meanies, Pepperland, the Sea of ââGreen … fans of the legendary psychedelic picaresque The Beatles, the animated film Yellow submarine (1968), will be immediately familiar with these colorful terms.
And it turns out that one of the key figures in its making, Anne Jolliffe, was a beloved inhabitant of Blackheath until her death at the age of 87 in August.
A true pioneer of animation, Jolliffe, born in Tasmania, is considered to be Australia’s first female animator. After studying and working in Melbourne in the 1950s, she found herself in London in the 1960s and worked on two Beatles cartoon series, The Beatles. This led to his involvement in the cult animated film Yellow submarine. Jolliffe was particularly involved in the creation of the character Jeremy Hillary Boob (the “eminent physicist, classicist polyglot, award-winning botanist” as he portrays himself in the film), and the hallucinatory, kaleidoscopic sequence of the song Lucy in the sky with diamonds.
In 1976, Jolliffe won the Oscar for best animated feature for the film Great! Returning to Australia in the 1970s and 1980s, she set up her own studio, Jollification, which produced more series and films.
But for her friends in the Blue Mountains, her illustrious and revolutionary career was secondary to the active and passionate role she played in the community. She moved to Blackheath in the early 1990s and died in Leura on August 27.
“She was almost always a part of any community event,” said her friend Wayne Kelly, “full of energy and life and ready to make her positive contribution to the life of the city.”
Jolliffe has been involved in a dizzying number of community projects including helping the Katoomba ALP, the Rhododendron Festival, truck size campaigns in the mountains, saving the rocket in Blackheath Memorial Park and supporting Blackheath Pool. She often provided posters and banners for these initiatives and causes.
âMy knowledge of her is the positive artistic contribution she made to Blackheath,â Kelly said. “If she said she was going to do something, it was done and done in style.”
Jolliffe was also a passionate and knowledgeable gardener. Kelly said: âAfter living in an apartment in London, she wanted a garden, which Blackheath gave her. She always produced good crops of raspberries, potatoes, tomatoes, rhubarb and sweetcorn. Lupines in the front yard and beans on the trail. “
Another friend, Lis Bastion, first met Jolliffe in 1994. Bastion then established the Stop Laughing This is Serious art gallery (which later became the Hat Hill Gallery). The gallery opened in 2002 with an exhibition titled Yellow Submarine Searching for Felix, featuring much of Jolliffe’s most important work.
Bastion is also the founder of Blackheath Community Farm – another local organization that has benefited from Jolliffe’s generosity and imagination.
âShe gave us the parsnip seeds that we still grow at Blackheath Community Farm,â Bastion said. “They are only viable for 12 months, but we have kept them growing for over 20 years.”