Thursday June 13 2019

Tyne Tunnel seeks local community groups to join the herd for the Elmer Trail

Tyne Tunnel seeks local community groups to join the herd for the Elmer Trail

TT2 Limited, the operators of the Tyne Tunnels, is swapping trucks for trunks as it announces it will be one of the local businesses sponsoring this year’s Elmer’s Great North Parade.

From 21 August, a sculpture called Elenora the Explorer, which is inspired by the much-loved children’s book character Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, will be installed on the TT2 site next to The Great North Coffee Company stand. Families will be invited to visit to join in the fun and take a selfie or two with the elephant.

The Elenora the Explorer installation, which is an original design painted onto an elephant-shaped sculpture, has been designed by renowned local artist Joanne Wishart and will make up part of this summer’s Elmer’s Great North Parade art trail, delivered by St Oswald’s Hospice.

Joanne is based at her newly opened gallery on St George’s Road in Cullercoats and has been selected to paint her designs on two different sculptures, one of which will appear at TT2 Limited.

Elmer’s Great North Parade is a follow up to 2016’s Great North Snowdogs art trail and will feature 50 individually designed elephant sculptures sponsored by local businesses, inspired by David McKee’s children’s book series. They will be joined by 115 little Elmer sculptures designed by local school children.

TT2 Limited is reaching out to local schools and community groups from both North and South of the river to give Elenora some company.

Chris Ward, Customer Support Manager at TT2 Limited, said: “We are delighted to be involved with Elmer’s Great North Parade. TT2 Limited does a great deal of work with schools and community groups on both sides of the Tyne, and we would love for as many local children as possible to get involved and help us make Elenora a fantastic addition to the Parade.

“We’ve already had a visit from Elmer. We showed him round the site and made sure everything would be perfect for Elenora’s arrival in August. We’re hoping our lovely sculpture can be accompanied by some banners and little elephants, expertly designed by the local children.”

Elmer’s Great North Parade is presented by St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice, working in partnership with creative producers Wild in Art. The Parade will also be supported by a region wide learning programme for schools and children’s groups.

Artist Joanne Wishart said: “I’m thrilled to be working with the Tyne Tunnels team on their sculpture for the Parade. I was previously involved with the Snowdogs trail, and I was very keen to take part again. It’s great that the TT2 team have also joined this year, and I’m delighted they chose my design for their sculpture.

“Projects like this are so important to the local community, as they allow everyone to be engaged with art without the pressure of visiting a gallery. They can enjoy artwork that is accessible, tactile, and set amongst the beautiful North East scenery. It brings art to life for the whole family.”

Jane Hogan, Elmer’s Great North Parade project lead, said: “It’s very exciting that TT2 have come on-board to be a part of Elmer’s Great North Parade. I know that Elenora the Explorer will be a delightful addition to the herd and I’m excited to see the plans for her special enclosure brought to life.

“I hope that regional communities will support TT2 in keeping Elenora entertained and that she receives tons of love over the course of the art trail!”

Elenora will arrive at the TT2 site on 21 August. To keep up to date with her progress, follow the official Elenora the Explorer twitter feed @ElenoraExplorer. If you are a school or community group that would like to participate, contact rosie.earl@recognitionpr.co.uk.

Photo Caption: Elmer visits the control room at TT2

"Im thrilled to be working with the Tyne Tunnels team on their sculpture for the Parade."
Artist - Joanne Wishart

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