What do you think? Can I combine these two common phrases?
A white elephant refers to something (often a building) that costs a lot of money but is essentially useless or doesn’t serve a purpose.
An elephant in the room refers to that thing (usually awkward) that no one wants to talk about.
So I would reason that we can combine these phases, certainly in the case of a massive sculpture of a tree that looks like something else.
But that’s not the real question here, the real question is… Is the elephant painted white? Or does it have white skin? Could we paint it another colour? Perhaps a pretty pink elephant?