She is part of Elmer’s Great North Parade, which will feature 50 individually designed elephants based on the much-loved children’s character, Elmer the patchwork elephant.
She has already been attracting lots of visitors since she arrived with her bright and colourful design that celebrates two great inventors of the North East, Joseph Swan, who developed the first light bulb and William Armstrong, who developed new more efficient ways to use hydroelectricity. Her design features imagery which resonates with our site’s history and the fact that it was built on a former coal mine.
The trail started on Wednesday 21st August and Ellie was given a warm welcome from the Helix community. Visitors included Cllr Ged Bell from Newcastle City Council, Abi Kelly, Executive Director of Corporate Affairs at Newcastle University, Amanda Rabey, Ellie’s Artist who is based at the Mushroom Works, Michelle Duggan, Newcastle Helix Partnership Manager and representatives from the Urban Observatory and the EPSRC National Centre for Energy Systems Integration (CESI) who are both based in the USB.
Amanda Rabey, Ellie’s Artist who is based at the Mushroom Works said: “It is wonderful to see Electric Ellie “come to life” at the beautiful and inventive Helix site.”
The USB is a key part of our vision to create a full-scale demonstrator of urban innovation - underpinning research to make urban centres more sustainable for future generations. Newcastle Helix provides a living laboratory to trial innovative urban technologies, with the USB hosting several exciting research projects. Electric Ellie helps to bring this to life and demonstrates the commitment and vision for the site as an exemplar sustainable development.
CESI exists to investigate the challenges of energy supply, sustainability and affordability and The Urban Observatory is host to the largest set of publicly available real time urban data in the UK. The data is open and can be accessed and used by anyone to make informed, evidence-based decisions about the future design and management of cities.
The energy system of Newcastle Helix includes an 11kV smart grid throughout the site, combined heat and power (CHP) district heating, electric vehicle (EV) fuelling station, low carbon heating, building-mounted solar photovoltaic and solar thermal photovoltaic (PVT), producing power and hot water. CESI IS using the Newcastle Helix energy system to learn more about the effects of operating in “islanded mode” with an independent power supply, managing sources of power at a reasonable cost and how the USB cam act as a virtual power plant.
Cllr Ged Bell, Cabinet member for Employment and Investment, Newcastle City Council said: “We are delighted to welcome Electric Ellie to Newcastle Helix. It is a place for business, world-class research and academics, but it’s also a place for where the local community can learn and be inspired.
“Being part of Elmer’s Great North Parade will not only help us to bring more people to Newcastle Helix, it allows us to be part of a huge regional initiative that engages local communities in arts and culture and encourages people to see everything our city has to offer. We are thrilled to play a part in raising vital funds that will support hundreds of families across the North East.”
Abi Kelly, Executive Director of Corporate Affairs at Newcastle University said: “We hope that Ellie’s arrival will further help to put Newcastle Helix on the map. As a University very much attached to its place, it is important to us that local people, schools and community groups see that the site is as open to them, just as it is to our students and our academic researchers.
“The wonderful design that Amanda has created harks back to the past of the Helix site as the former Elswick Colliery, but also recognises the advances we are making around sustainable energy in the USB and elsewhere on Helix.”
Elmer’s Great North Parade is an event delivered by St Oswald’s Hospice and supported by Wild in Art. St Oswald’s Hospice provides specialist care for North East adults, young people and children and support for family and loved ones. It is hoped that the event will raise more than £500,000 for babies, children and young adults in the community who are dealing with life-limiting conditions. Elmer’s Great North parade will run from August – November 2019, welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors to the region.
Make sure you pay Ellie a visit and follow her on Twitter @electric_elmer. If you do grab a selfie, post your photo on social media copying @stoswaldsuk and using the hashtag #GreatNorthElmer.
To find out more about Elmer’s Great North Parade visit https://www.stoswaldsuk.org/elmer/
The £20m EPSRC National Centre for Energy Systems Integration (CESI) is primarily funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Siemens. It brings together energy experts from around the world to help unravel the energy network and understand future supply and demand. In time the centre will help customers to have greater control of their energy use and industry to meet new low carbon targets.
The Urban Observatory is part of the UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC). The team captures and curates 18,000 data streams from across the North East of England, creating one of the largest sets of publicly available real time urban data in the world. The data is open and can be accessed and used by anyone to make informed, evidence-based decisions about the future design and management of cities.
From Wednesday 21st August until Friday 1st November 2019, Tyne and Wear will welcome a spectacular art trail, Elmer’s Great North Parade, which will feature 50 individually designed elephants based on the much-loved children’s character, Elmer the patchwork elephant. They will be joined by a herd of 115 little sculptures designed by local schools.
On conclusion of the trail Elmer’s Farewell Weekend will take place on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th November at Newcastle Racecourse.
Finally, the Big Elmer Auction will take place on Tuesday 12th November at Sage, Gateshead. Find out more detail about these and other Elmer events at www.stoswaldsuk.org/elmer/whats-on
St Oswald’s Hospice provides specialist care for North East adults, young people and children with incurable conditions, and support for family and loved ones.
The charity needs to raise over £7.5 million each year through voluntary giving and legacies to continue to provide services to the local community.
No charge is made to patients for the services provided ensuring hospice care is available to all. For more information please visit www.stoswaldsuk.org.
Wild in Art is one of the leading producers of spectacular, mass-appeal public art events, which connect businesses, artists and communities through the power of creativity and innovation.
Since 2008 Wild in Art has animated cities across the world including Manchester, Sydney, Auckland, Cape Town and São Paulo, and created trails for the London 2012 Olympics, the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Historic Royal Palaces and Penguin Random House.
Wild in Art events have:
The Wild in Art apps powered by Mediaworks are available to download from the App Store and Google Play. wildinart.co.uk | @wildinart | #wildinart