When Vestegnens Kulturuge tasked Danish artist Thomas Dambo with creating artworks in six of Copenhagen’s western suburbs, he chose to hide them away in forests, beside lakes and swamps, and on the tops of mountains. He describes theses spots as ”some of [his] favorite places around the city.” Collectively, the artist’s ”Six Forgotten Giants,” all of which have been made entirely from scrap material, form an “open air sculpture treasure hunt,” which Dambo hopes people will partake in. If they do, they’ll stumble upon some largely unused areas of natural beauty and fulfill the project’s goal of “taking art out of the museum.”
Dambo explains, “As humans we often have a way of choosing the beaten path and the main roads. So when the municipalities of west Copenhagan contacted me about a project it seemed natural to make something which could get people out and explore the beautiful nature in hidden outskirts which you wouldn’t usually see.”
Whether he’s designing furniture, interior spaces, or huge art installations, Dambo likes to integrate the people and places around him into all of his work. Since 2013, he’s made 25 recycled sculptures that have been placed around the world. His ”Six Forgotten Giants” were completed last year, and they have since been positioned next to boulders with poetry inscribed on them. By using these snippets (and a map) as clues, travelers can successfully make their way from one “forgotten” giant to the next. With the help of local volunteers, Dambo made these sculptures out of old floorboards, over 600 wooden pallets, a fence, a watermill, and “whatever else [they were] able to scavenge.” As a token of gratitude to his helpers, Dambo has named each giant after a different volunteer.
In Hakkemosen, on the shore of a picturesque lake in Høje Taastrup, ”Teddy Friendly” forms a small bridge with his outstretched arm while sitting on the opposite side of a narrow stream. Four unemployed people, and a teacher from a local activation center named Teddy,volunteered to help build this giant, whose fur was made from the cutoffs of locally felled trees.
In Ishøj, you’ll find ”Oscar Under The Bridge,” a giant whose fingers clutch the bridge running over his hideout. He’s made from the scraps of an old watermill and takes his name from the Chilean artist who helped build him.
Ultimately, Dambo ”[hopes his] art will inspire people to see the big potential in recycling and taking better care of our planet.”