If you go down to the woods today … you might find a huge wooden giant made by artist Thomas Dambo.
The 37-year-old dutch sculptor has used discarded wooden pallets to make the enormous creatures, hidden in secret locations in beauty spots around Copenhagen. You’ll need a treasure map to find the giants named “Sleeping Louise”, “Little Tilde” and “Thomas on the Mountain”, and others.
“Thomas on the Mountain”
The artwork is part of Dambo’s current project Sleeping Giants; six sculptures made from around 600 wooden pallets, made with the help of local volunteers. The aim is to “bring art out of the museum [and] show the beautiful and often overlooked nature spots in the western part of Copenhagen.” Here’s the treasure map to find the giants.
The giants took Dambo six months to create in workshop, with the help of two assistants. The giants were then transported to their secret locations in the woods, where Dambo and six volunteers put the final touches to the sculptures. The tallest giant is five metres tall, but would be around 15 metres if it stood up.
Dambo’s giants have inspired locals to go “troll hunting”, with many exploring the woodland for the first time.
As well as a treasure map there are also cryptic poems written on plaques near the giants, giving people clues to find the next nearest giant.
The poem for “Sleeping Louis” reads:
“I have been sleeping for a year, I wake up when I feel like it.
Crawl in to my belly, and join me – but not if you snore.
I’m from a big group of siblings, and we are hidden to humans.
They call us the forgotten giants.
You can find my sister little tilde in Advedøre
at the grassland, behind the hill filled with cows and sheep.
Denmark has a lot of folk tales about trolls living in nature, but Dambo’s first troll was made in Puerto Rico, where he made one called Hector Protector.
Over the last three years Dambo has made 25 big recycled sculptures that have been installed around the world. Throughout his career, the artist has specialised in making recycled art out of rubbish. Among his sources for materials are the debris left behind after music festivals, including tents and yoga mats. Dambo told Akita: “I only work in recycled materials, I have done this since building treetop houses as a kid.
“I believe we need to take better care of our planet and that being better at recycling is a big part of this.“
The giants will stay in the woods for around eight years, with Dambo repairing them, until they rot away naturally into the ground.
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Akita was granted permission to use images by Thomas Dambo.