The Great North Snowdog sculptures have made a triumphant return to Tyneside’s public transport system.
Two of the Snowdogs from the 2016 trail – Tyne and Wear’s biggest ever mass participation public art event which raised £260,000 for St Oswald’s Hospice – have gone on public display on the Metro system and on the cross-Tyne Shields Ferry service.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, was the principal sponsor of the project in 2016 and had always planned to showcase the Snowdog sculptures in public spaces on its network as part of the project’s legacy.
The return of the two Snowdogs comes as Metro and St Oswald’s Hospice prepare for a new charity trail next summer featuring a loveable new character – children’s book favourite Elmer the Elephant.
Huw Lewis, Customer Services Director at Nexus, said: “The Snowdogs won so many hearts it is great to see them back on show in two very busy spaces, at Central Station and the South Shields ferry landing.
“We hope they will put a smile on people’s and a reminder of the charity art trail we staged with St Oswald’s Hospice two summers ago, as well as a preview for Elmer the Elephant who is going to be arriving this coming August in what we hope will be an even bigger and better family adventure.”
Guide Dog, by the Sunderland artist Mike Clay, has gone on show in the waiting room at South Shields ferry landing. It features a hand-drawn antique style map of the communities around the mouth of the Tyne, but incorporating modern features including Metro stations and The Word centre for literature in South Shields.
Rocket Dog, by Newcastle artist Amanda Rabey, incorporates a stylised depiction of Stephenson’s famous steam locomotive alongside local landmarks. It is now on display in the ticket concourse at Central Metro station in Newcastle city centre.
The colourful Snowdog trail saw 61 individually designed Snowdog sculptures displayed in local parks and open spaces for ten week from September 2016.
It was inspired by Raymond Briggs’ classic animated short film The Snowman and The Snowdog and brought to life the lovable Snowdog character from the 2012 sequel to The Snowman.
The Tyne and Wear Metro was a principal sponsor and presenting partner of the Snowdog trail and played a vital role in helping people to explore it.
The Snowdog sculptures, each with their own unique design, were painted by a range of artists - some local, some well-known, and some as yet undiscovered. Once the trail finished they were auctioned and this raised £260,000 for St Oswald’s Hospice in Newcastle.
The two Snowdogs were purchased at the charity auction by some of the firms carrying out modernisation work on the Metro system. TXM Rail, TXM Plant, Tolent Construction, Kapsch CarrierCom , ADComms and Ove Arup & Partners teamed up to secure two Snowdogs at the auction.