BOOM, BELGIUM: Once upon a time, there were seven giant trolls hiding in the forest of the De Schorre Provinciaal Recreatiedomein in Boom, Belgium. The ginormous creatures have returned and they are the most recent project of artist Thomas Dambo.
What better way then to celebrate the Halloween season than to introduce you to the imaginative world of Thomas Dambo and his latest collection of fantastic “Gullivarian” giants that are secretly living in Belgium’s De Schorre Provincial Park?
Dambo has been creating massive wooden trolls and hiding them throughout forests and wilderness areas all around the world. With a personal goal to create awareness of the potential for materials that often go to waste, the Copenhagen, Denmark based Dambo uses only recycled materials to craft all of his works.
“By doing this, I hope to lure people away from concrete cities and computer screens, into the wild and reconnect them with the natural world.”
At the same time, Dambo is striving to reduce discarded waste that threatens our natural environment throughout the planet.
The massive trolls are hidden in the woods as part of a fairytale project called The 7 Trolls and The Magical Tower, a poetic story Dambo wrote just for this particular fantasy. It’s all part of his lifelong passion for legends and mythology.
“Since I was a child, I always loved to hear different fairy tales and folklore stories, and dream myself away into magical worlds filled with dragons and trolls,” the artist writes on his website.
Historically, trolls have been the domain of Scandinavian traditions, particularly those of Norway. Typically, trolls are a dwarf-like creature that dwells in isolated rocks, mountains, or caves. They live together in small family units and are rarely helpful to human beings.
Depending on the source, their appearance varies greatly; trolls may be hairy, ugly, unkempt and dim-witted, however, they can also look and behave exactly like human beings, with no particularly grotesque characteristics about them.
As their legend evolved in Scandinavia, trolls became beings in their own right, where they lived far from human habitation, were not Christianized and were considered dangerous to humans.
Sometimes, trolls are associated with particular landmarks, which is often explained as having been formed from a troll that was exposed to sunlight.
Dambo’s creations are shocking, beautiful, mysterious and huge, measuring anywhere between 23 and 59 feet. The tower in Dambo’s latest installation in Belgium is an impressive 56 feet tall. The installation took the artist, along with a crew of 15 assistants, a total of 25 weeks to construct.
Dambo finds most of the raw materials for his sculptures in city dumpsters at supermarkets or pallets and fallen trees. Hoping to inspire more people to do the same and to see trash as a resource, the self-proclaimed ‘recycle art activist’ says his larger-than-life public sculptures are “upcycled” rather than recycled.
Not all of Thomas Dambo’s art involves massive trolls and towers hiding out in forests.
He is often commissioned to make all types of furniture as well as large and small interior designs. Dambo draws his inspiration by his surroundings and the people around him.
In one recent project that took two months to complete, Dambo supervised a team of 700 students, 100 volunteers, an orphanage and an elderly home, to transform three tons of plastic waste into a colorful forest bursting with trees, plants, flowers and animals.
Visitors wishing to delve into the forest to “troll” for trolls can find maps and other information on The 7 Trolls and The Magical Tower on Thomas Dambo’s website.
If you happen to be anywhere near Boom, Belgium in the north-central part of the country, you might be interested in going for stroll for a troll. No tricks. Just one HUGE treat.
About the Author:
Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor is an award-winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.
He is the founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
His goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.
Editors Note: Support Bob’s GoFundMe to give him a hand up