WATCH | These trolls are the protectors of the world’s forests
When walking through the mottled shade of a forest, keep your eyes open for trolls. Although they stand five-metres tall, they’re not a threat.
Around the world, these creatures with a gentle demeanor live among the trees.
They can be found meditating, perched atop a car, or learning to fly. Thomas Dambo is a Danish sculptor and art activist responsible for the wooden creations.
“My trolls protect the forest and they are also made out of what used to be a forest,” he says.
Over 80 of Dambo’s timber troll sculptures are scattered across Europe, Asia, and North America, enticing people to journey outside.
“I think we’re living more and more inside a digital world,” Dambo says. “I like to use my sculptures to draw people out of their everyday routines and into nature to experience magic.”
People are encouraged to climb onto the trolls, take photos, and immerse themselves in the stories of these creatures.
But not only are the trolls reconnecting people with the environment, they're preserving it.
Dambo uses recycled wood to build his trolls, making a striking statement about the impact of waste on the world.
The disposal of wood is harmful as burning leads to higher carbon emissions. Collecting scraps and donated pieces, Dambo is preventing it from having a detrimental effect.
“We can build a world of trash instead of drowning in it,” Dambo says.
In 2020, he established Den Kæmpestore Trolde Folkefest (The Journey to the Giant Troll Folk Fest) in Denmark as a safe way for people to venture outdoors during COVID-19.
This 10-piece troll hunt is popular with locals and tourists alike, and he has created an online adventure for people worldwide.
Towering over their abodes, Dambo’s trolls pay homage to our bond with the natural world and the enduring need to guard it.
Footage and photos by Thomas Dambo were used in the creation of this film.