Linklater artwork is tribute to Dr Alison Jolly from Lewes

Picture by Nick Robinson
Picture by Nick Robinson

A tribute to the late Lewes primatologist Dr Alison Jolly was unveiled at the town’s Linklater Pavilion on Sunday.

The spectacular ceiling panel artwork has been created by Tom Walker.

Ceiling panel by Tom Walker

Ceiling panel by Tom Walker

It celebrates the role played in Madagascar by Dr Jolly, where she carried out pioneering research on lemurs.

Local artist Tom was helped in the creation of the 4x2.5m work by more than 200 children and adults.

It depicts leaf shapes of the main trees on the Railway Land Nature Reserve in Lewes and in the sunlit gaps between are creatures from both Madagascar and the Railway Land.

Special guests at the launch were Dr Jolly’s widower, Sir Richard Jolly, and daughter Margaretta.

Sunday also saw the closing of the highly successful knowtrash exhibition at the Linklater Pavilion and families were invited to bring along picnics for the finale.

Prior to the unveiling there was a procession of 20 lanterns made by the Nature Corridors for All group of adults with learning disabilities.

Dr Jolly, who with her husband gave joyful support to the Railway Land Project, built a reputation as a primatologist and conservationist that was not confined to her professional fields.

Although described by friends as a “gentle path maker”, not caring much about academic status, she was a pioneer who worked to spread the word about the natural and cultural wonders of Madagascar for more than 50 years.