AS the region welcomes the larger than life Elmer’s Great North Parade art trail, intu Eldon Square and intu Metrocentre will be showcasing their sponsored sculptures until November – Surf Dude and Sweet Treat.

Playing host to two of the large elephant sculptures, both centres have welcomed the new arrivals as part of the St. Oswald’s Children’s Hospice campaign in partnership with Wild in Art, which sees the individually designed Elmer the Patchwork Elephant sculptures pop up in public spaces throughout the North East.

Behind the designs and names of both sculptures are Northumberland-based artist Ali Elly who created the vibrant Surf Dude elephant for intu Eldon Square and self-taught, South Shields artist Katie White who used bold and bright colours for intu Metrocentre’s Sweet Treat sculpture.

Surf Dude artist, Ali Elly, said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have my design chosen by intu Eldon Square, Elmer’s Great North Parade is such an amazing opportunity for artists to help raise money for St Oswald’s Hospice and involves such a wide variety of people from the community in such an interacting and entertaining way.”

Katie White, Sweet Treat artist, said: “I was delighted when I heard I had been picked to be part of Elmer’s Great North Parade with St Oswald’s Hospice and to be sponsored by intu Metrocentre. Bringing Sweet Treat to life and making him ready for the parade has been so much fun and I am so excited that he’s arrived in his new home at intu Metrocentre and for everyone to come and meet him!”

Gavin Prior, regional centre director at intu, said: “We’re thrilled to welcome not one but two elephants to our shopping centres as part of this year’s activity. Elmer’s Great North Parade will be tons of fun, bringing families and new faces into both centres to see the brilliantly-decorated sculptures.

“Both designs are very different but each made us smile and felt apt for our centres.”

As part of Elmer’s Great North Parade, Surf Dude and Sweet Treat will be stomping into intu Eldon Square and intu Metrocentre from 21 August until 01 November 2019. Keen explorers will also have the opportunity to spot some of the other elephants in the herd which can be spotted lurking around the centres and sponsored by a number of local businesses.

To celebrate the arrival of the elephant sculptures, both intu Eldon Square and intu Metrocentre will be hosting a competition to win a £50 intu Gift Card. Simply tag @intueldonsquare in your pictures with Surf Dude or @intumetrocentre with any images of Sweet Treat!