Baby Elephant – Edinburgh’s current ‘plinth’ at the West End

Granite: 5 x 5 x 4ft. 3 tonnes. Location: on exhibition at Edinburgh’s West End.  For Sale

Edinburgh’s West End has welcomed an exotic new resident as part of a drive to establish the city’s ‘plinth’ for public art.

Baby Elephant, by Scottish sculptor Ronald Rae, has been installed on the corner of Hope Street and Princes Street, which has been earmarked as a space for visiting art by the Council.

The 3 tonne, life-sized baby elephant follows close on the hooves of the Kelpies maquettes which occupied the space over the summer of 2015.

Rae, who also created the Lion of Scotland sculpture on loan to St Andrew Square Edinburgh, made the Baby Elephant to highlight the endangered status of elephants both African and Asian, whose numbers are dwindling drastically every year.

Transport Convener, Councillor Lesley Hinds, said: “This generous loan from Ronald Rae will provide a welcome addition to the city’s vibrant West End, which recently underwent a series of improvements.

“It is our intention to bring the area to life with even more art and sculpture in future, so I would encourage anyone visiting or living in the city to pay ‘Edinburgh’s Plinth’ a visit.”

Councillor Richard Lewis, Culture and Sport Convener, said: “Public art, and outdoor sculpture in particular, is a cultural activity everyone can enjoy and engage with, and by creating a dedicated ‘plinth’ for visiting sculpture we are opening art up to a whole new audience.

“We are grateful to Ronald Rae for this loan, which will not only brighten this corner of the city up, but raises awareness of a serious issue.”

Jock Miller, Chair of the West End Community Council, said: “The West End Community Council is delighted to see the Baby Elephant following the success of the Kelpie Maquettes. It is hoped the baby elephant will bring enjoyment to the residents of the West End, the wider Edinburgh community and tourists alike.”

Ronald Rae is currently holding an exhibition of granite sculptures at the Falkirk Wheel, including a 10 tonne Elephant Family, one of eight elephant sculptures he has carved over the past thirty years.

He added: “I am delighted to see my Baby Elephant in the city centre. The West End plaza is a perfect place for outdoor art where the public can engage with a sculpture as they pass by or sit with a coffee. The vulnerability of this baby elephant on the street has a message – to make people think about the plight of elephants and to care for all creatures in the wild and for our Planet that sustains us daily.”

This article was posted by the City of Edinburgh Council’s Media Team.

To  see unique footage of the creation of the Baby Elephant go to the right margin at LATEST NEWS ON VIDEO scroll down to Ronald Rae returns to carving granite Parts One, Two, Three to its completion in Part Four.

4 thoughts on “Baby Elephant – Edinburgh’s current ‘plinth’ at the West End”

  1. Dear Ronnie,
    Your Baby Elephant certainly pulls at the heart strings.
    So important to help to make everyone aware of the endangered spices on the planet, sadly there are so many.
    Great piece

  2. Fantastic to see another work of Ronnie’s in the city centre …. so now we have the Lion at the East End and the Baby Elephant at the West End to enhance pedestrians experience of the City.

    1. Thank you for your feedback Gail. A friend passing the Baby Elephant on the 41 Bus this week saw a wee girl run up to the elephant with arms outstretched and giving it a cuddle. We couldn’t wish for more!

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