Over the last three years, Danish artist Thomas Dambo has been creating enormous sculptures from recycled materials. Most recently, he sprinkled six of his friendly giants around Copenhagen as a way to encourage people to visit the offbeat areas of his hometown.
The “Forgotten Giants” project consists of 6 large sculptures made in the outskirts of Copenhagen. Common for all sculptures is that they are made solely from local scrapwood and recycled materials, and made in a hidden beautiful location. This way it invites the viewers to go on a treasure hunt, not only to see the sculptures, but also to discover hidden gems in nature.
Made from 600 wood pallets, a shed, and an old fence, the scavenged wood comes together to produce these incredible hidden giants. Each is named after a volunteer on the project, and can be found using a map Dambo prepared or a poem engraved into stones near the sculptures.
“It invites the viewers to go on a treasure hunt, not only to see the sculptures, but also to discover hidden gems in nature,” Dambo said.
Little Tilde is one of these sculptures, located in the area of Vallensbæk Mose, a beautiful area filled with wild nature and animal life. She watches through the trees at the other side of a small lake, from where you will be able to catch a glimpse of her at a distance.
Tilde is made solely from local scrapwood scavenged by the Thomas Dambo team. To build the sculpture the team had help from a group of volunteers including two senior craftsmen (one of which was aged 86), and a couple of locals including Tilde, from whom the sculpture got her name.
As a little bonus Thomas Dambo made 28 birdhouses inside the sculpture, for the birds and maybe a squirrel to seek shelter when winter hits Vallensbæk Mose.
Each piece interacts with the environment. For instance, Teddy Friendly, which was produced in conjunction with a local activation center and provided work for four unemployed people, sits next to a lake. His arm extended, he actually helps people across the tiny stream that feeds into the river.
Sleeping Louis is taking a nap on a hill, covered in trees and nature, in a secret place in Rødovre outside of Copenhagen. People can crawl into his gaping mouth, and play or even sleep inside of him.
Sleeping Louis is made solely from local scrapwood scavenged by the Thomas Dambo team. To build the sculpture the team had help from a group of young volunteers from an organisation helping young unemployed people get work experience before reentering the work market. Thomas’ old assistant Louis from Bristol, England came back to Copenhagen for a visit, and worked hard to help finish the sculpture, why Thomas and the team decided to name the sculpture after him.
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. She is named after one of the volunteers who worked on one of the other hidden giants.
Just like her siblings, Hill Top Trine is made from scrapwood, branches and old pallets from Stark. The Thomas Dambo team have had help building the wooden sculpture from a handful of local volunteers.
You can see more of how this project came to life in this video:
All photos came from the website of Thomas Dambo.