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What’s up with the new giant wood trolls coming to Seattle?

They’re part of a large installation by a Danish artist.

A giant wooden troll sculpture sits cross-legged on Bainbridge Island

Bainbridge’s new troll is named Pia the Peacekeeper.

Photo by SEAtoday staff

Well, this is huge. On Saturday, Aug. 19, a whimsical wooden sculpture wandered onto Bainbridge Island in an ongoing public art exhibit called “Northwest Trolls: Way of the Bird King.” Rad, right?

Four more creatures will stomp into West Seattle, Vashon Island, Issaquah, and Ballard over the next month. Crane your necks up at these gentle giants and see what they’re all about.

Natural fits

The trolls are the creation of Danish environmental artist Thomas Dambo, who propped up similar sculptures in 100+ locales from China to Australia to Wyoming. Each troll is meant to “interact” with its surroundings and tell a tale about “protecting nature and honoring the land.”

Thomas and his team use scrap wood and recyclable materials to build the pieces of art that stretch between 12 and 20-ft tall. For comparison’s sake, the Fremont Troll stands at 18 ft. Maybe they’ll all be buds?

Global to local

The special “Northwest” version of Thomas’s troll project started in Portland before making its way up to our lovely kingdom. Its primary funder and managing partner is the Seattle-based Scan Design Foundation, which seeks to advance Danish-American relations. Hi, Danes.

The troll team also collaborated with the Muckleshoot and Snoqualmie Tribes for the installations and used local volunteers during construction to hammer everything home.

Next up

Thomas likes to keep the specific locations a secret until each troll “awakens” and points folks to an interactive map to hunt ‘em down.

Spoiler alert — the next one will appear in West Seattle on Friday, Aug. 25. Thomas also has a book signing at Vashon Center for the Arts on Tuesday, Sept. 12 and the closing celebration is at the National Nordic Museum on Monday, Sept. 18

You’ll still have some time to check ‘em out once all five are woken up: they’ll stay in place for at least the next three years, just trolling right along.

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