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Magical: Danish Artist Hides Huge Trolls in Australia

Thomas Dambo’s Giants of Mandurah are towering tributes to sustainability, adventure and imagination.


Giant troll made from scrap wood
One of the Giants of Mandurah by Thomas Dambo | Credit: Duncan Wright courtesy of Form

Thomas Dambo is the son of a theatre costume seamstress and a blacksmith. He grew up in a commune with three other families in Odense, Denmark; an environment where artistic expression was deeply encouraged, and sharing, play and creative problem-solving were interwoven with daily life.


“That definitely had a big impact on me. I was always designing games and creating something, even though we never had much money. It taught me that you can create something amazing with very little, even with items from the trash, that other people can enjoy and be a part of,” he says.


Decades later, 42-year-old recycling artist, has placed six trolls in secret corners of the Peel region of Western Australia as part of Thomas Dambo Giants of Mandurah, an Australian-first exhibition presented by Form and the City of Mandurah which will be on display for at least a year. Form's website says it "acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, both the Whadjuk Noongar people in Perth and the Traditional Owners across Western Australia where we work. We honour and pay respect to community Elders and to their ancestors who survived and cared for this Country."


Giant troll made from scrapwood resting against a tree
One of the Giants of Mandurah | Credit: Duncan Wright courtesy of Form

The Australia project takes Dambo’s global troll count to 99, with his gentle giants finding homes in landscapes as far afield as the United States, Belgium, China, Denmark, South Korea and Puerto Rico.


His deep reverence for the natural world is a fundamental component of Dambo’s work. A self-proclaimed “recycle art activist”, Dambo’s trolls are made almost entirely from locally sourced recycled timber: their faces from secondhand furniture, skin from timber palettes and hair from branches and leaves.


OGN has regularly featured stories and images of works created by street artists in urban landscapes to bring a little magic to cities, but stumbling upon a giant troll whilst taking a stroll in the countryside adds a whole new dimension to the idea of a magical surprise.

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There’s a genius street artist running loose in NYC making the world a happier place - let’s hope nobody stops him!

 
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