Danish artist Thomas Dambo is well-known for making amazing and gigantic sculptures out of recycled materials and nestling them deep into the forests outside Copenhagen.
According to his website, Dambo has always been interested in building things. While he studied carpentry, he says he “grew tired of the repetitiveness and applied to Kolding School of design, which he graduated from in 2011.”
His artwork is now drawing locals and international visitors to the area to get a glimpse of his mesmerizing wooden giants and trolls.
Thomas works with a team of volunteers who gather supplies and help build and install the sculptures he envisions – and each one is named after a person who donated time to the project to help show his appreciation.
Using reclaimed materials such as salvaged wood, hundreds of shipping pallets, fencing, and even an old shed, the sculptures come to live without producing more waste or taking natural resources. The team even goes dumpster diving for materials.
According to his website, Dambo “hopes to inspire people to have fun and think of trash as a resource.”
If you find yourself in the area and happen upon a sculpture, you’ll also find one of Thomas’ engraved stones nearby. Each one has a riddle that will help you find the next piece of artwork.
Sounds like a great outdoor adventure!
For those who can’t decrypt the riddles, there’s also a map available online that will help you hunt these giant treasures – after all, there’s no use in keeping people from finding them!
While the artwork is certainly beautiful, many of the pieces also add something practical to the land around them. Some house birds, while others act as bridges, for example. One sleeping giant is even installed in a place where the homeless often sleep and is designed to provide shelter to those in need.
While most of Dambo’s sculptures are in Denmark, he is now building treasures around the world, from South Korea to Puerto Rico.
There are now several in the U.S. as well – three are currently on display in Florida, Kentucky, and Illinois. You can see the map here.
While some might find the trolls and giants a bit creepy, they’ve long been a fixture in Northern European folklore.
Trolls are common in Norse mythology and tend to dwell in isolated rocks, mountains, or caves – hence their placement in the forests. They often have magical qualities in the stories told about them, though more often than not they chase people from the forests rather than invite them in.
Giants and giantesses were the world’s living creatures, according to Norse mythology. In the myths, they possess superhuman strength and live in dwellings made of rocks or built into mountains in the wilderness.
Dambo’s passion, talent, and love of the planet and its natural landscape have come together in some of the most unique artwork we’ve ever seen.
“I hope my art will inspire people to see the big potential in recycling and taking better care of our planet,” Dambo wrote in a blog post about his work.
You can scroll down below to see a glimpse of just one of his many projects.
And be sure to visit his website here to see if there’s a sculpture near you because these would be one seriously rewarding road trip destination!
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