Popular sculptures make a return to public viewing

Guide Dog, by the Sunderland artist Mike Clay, has gone on show in the waiting room at South Shields ferry landing.
Guide Dog, by the Sunderland artist Mike Clay, has gone on show in the waiting room at South Shields ferry landing.

Two sculptures from an art trail have gone back on display on Tyneside’s public transport system.

The two figures from the 2016 Great North Snowdog trail – which raised £260,000 for St Oswald’s Hospice – have gone on show on the cross-tyne Shields Ferry service and at Newcastle Central Station.

Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, was the principal sponsor of the project in 2016 and had 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.

“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.”

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.

The Snowdog sculptures, each with their own unique design, were painted by a range of artists. 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.