A small baby elephant stalks the John Watkins Plaza outside the Library. LSE Archivist Sue Donnelly explains how he made his home at LSE.

Baby Tembo – Tembo being the Swahili word for elephant – was created by the Canadian sculptor Derrick Stephan Hudson. Hudson was born in the UK but moved to Canada in childhood. His first degree was in history before moving taking a further degree at the Ontario College of Art and Design. Derrick’s work often focusses on wildlife and he writes:

“I hope to make people aware and concerned about animals in the wild and to assist in channelling this concern into greater animal protection efforts”.

Baby Tembo forms part of a series devoted to African elephants which includes Tembo at Windsor Sculpture Park, Ontario, Canada featuring a nine foot mother elephant accompanied by two elephant calves.

Baby Tembo on Clare_Market_2013 credit Nigel Stead LSE

Baby Tembo, a bronze sculpture by Derrick Hudson donated to the LSE by Louis Odette, on the steps of LSE Old Building in Clare Market, 2013. Credit: LSE/Nigel Stead

 Baby Tembo arrived at LSE along with the LSE Penguin in 2005, one of eleven sculptures donated to the School by alumnus Louis Odette. Odette spent a year on the General Course in 1944 focussing on some of the courses included in the commerce degree. Odette had a great interest in sculpture and was also patron of the Windsor Sculpture Park in Ontario.

Baby Tembo at graduations_2016 credit Nigel Stead LSE

Two LSE undergraduates pose next to Baby Tembo in John Watkins Plaza after the Graduation Ceremony on 14 July 2016. Credit: LSE/Nigel Stead

Originally Baby Tembo lived on the stops outside the Old Building watching the Waterstones bookshop but since the start of the Centre Buildings redevelopment project you can find him on the John Watkins Plaza outside the Library.

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The LSE Penguin by Yolanda Vandergaast

Visit Art on campus for further stories from our art collections and contact Sue if you would like to find out more about using the LSE art works around campus.

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