Danish artist Thomas Dambo is like a folk-art Michelangelo of scrap materials. And he’s always thinking outside of the box. His large-scale projects go beyond making something nice to look at; they have interactive qualities that invite the viewer to be a participant as well. For example, his utterly awesome recycled holiday village in the middle of Copenhagen which invited shoppers to come in and make DIY gifts from recycled things, all for free.
He’s now taken things – six tremendous “forgotten giants” made from recycled wood, to be exact – to the outer reaches of Copenhagen’s wilderness to entice people on an adventure to areas where “most regular Copenhageners would never have heard of or considered to visit,” he told me in an email.
“I have placed all of the sculptures in places where you normally wouldn’t go, but still in places which you can reach with public transportation or preferably on your bicycle,” he adds. “They are also spread at a distance range making it possible to visit them all in a day if you go by bicycle.”
Some of the forgotten giants, like “Oscar Under The Bridge” reside in locations in which they can be seen from a distance; others – we’re looking at you, Sleeping Louis – would be almost impossible to find if you didn’t know where to look, Dambo tells me. “Most of them would be hard to find without the treasure maps available on my website, or by guessing the riddles/poems I have made on the rocks near the sculptures.”
All of the giants came to new life thanks to old wood; mainly from 600 old pallets, an old wooden shed, a fence and “whatever else I was able to scavenge,” Dambo says. All of the sculptures were made with the help of local volunteers.
Sleeping Louis is taking a nap on a hill, covered in trees and nature, notes Dambo’s website, in a secret place in Rødovre outside of Copenhagen. “People can crawl into his gaping mouth, and play or even sleep inside of him.”
Oscar Under the Bridge
Oscar was named after an artist from Chile who came to Copenhagen to help with the project.
Teddy was made with assistance from a local activation center, which provided four unemployed people and a teacher to assist in building the sculpture which bears his name.
Thomas on the Mountain
Thomas was built with the help of local school students as well as a couple of seniors; he is named not for the artist, but for one of his interns.
Hill Top Trine
Hill Top Trine is resting on top of a little hill in Hvidovre, Copenhagen, where you can crawl into the palms of her hands and get a beautiful viewpoint overlooking Avedøresletten.
Dambo, left, and his team of volunteers are pictured here with Little Tilde. As a lovely bonus, Tilde harbors 28 birdhouses inside, “for the birds and maybe a squirrel to seek shelter when winter hits Vallensbæk Mose.”
For more on this wonderful project and others, visit thomasdambo.com.