A pair of gentle giants will soon be erected in Ninigret Park as part of South County Tourism Council’s mission to bring more attractions and visitors to the area

The South County Tourism Council is bringing big things to Rhode Island. By big things, we mean giant trolls made of recycled and reclaimed wood by renowned Danish artist, Thomas Dambo. To start, two trolls will be unveiled in Ninigret Park in May 2024. More will follow, according to South County Tourism President, Louise Bishop, “we hope to have a few more trolls in the future to connect the state and form a Rhode Island ‘troll trail’,” she says.

Thomas Dambo is the world’s leading recycle artist. His art is in more than 20 countries on five continents, including the USA, China, Brazil, Australia, Great Britain, Germany, France, South Korea, Chile, and Puerto Rico. There are 125 Thomas Dambo trolls in the world, and 44 of those are in the USA.

 “I am very much looking much forward to coming to Rhode Island. My wife comes from New England, so I really love the area. I came last year for a site visit, I got to see so much of the beautiful area. I have a good idea for an installation with some really big stones. And if I have one obsession, it is that I like big stones“, states Thomas Dambo. 

South County Tourism Council president, Louise Bishop is passionate about public art and sees it as a wonderful and beautiful addition to the region’s natural beauty. The fact that Dambo’s work is environmentally conscious and invites people to enjoy and appreciate nature makes it a perfect match for South County where nature takes center stage.

“When I first saw the Thomas Dambo Trolls at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, I knew they were just what South County needed as an attraction. I love that they’re eco-conscious and so unique and will be an additional economic driver for the state. They will put Rhode Island, not just South County, on the map,” Bishop says.

The South County Tourism Council’s mission is to market the region outside the state to attract visitors. Since taking over as president in 2016, Bishop has more than doubled the region’s operating budget with her creative initiatives such as the Atlantis RIsing International Sand Sculpture Competition, expanding the council’s marketing to a wider audience via digital and streaming, attending both trade and consumer travel shows and creating innovative marketing campaigns from the Golden Ticket Getaway, to billboards and vehicle wraps.

Thomas Dambo will be available to media for interviews on April 23rd from 10 AM -12 PM and May 3rd, from 11 AM -12 PM. Please contact Faye Pantazopoulos if there are any questions or scheduling conflicts at faye@southcountyri.com.

Dambo will also be holding an artist talk at the United Theatre on April 30th at 7PM. Tickets will be available via their website.

Hi-res photos of other trolls are available here until the South County trolls are up and we will share those photos by the end of May.

About Thomas Dambo

Thomas Dambo (Odense, Denmark; 1979) is the world’s leading recycling artist. Since 2014 he has produced artwork with discarded materials in more than 20 countries on 5 continents, including the USA, China, Brazil, Australia, GB, Germany, France, South Korea, Chile, and Puerto Rico.

Among Thomas Dambo’s most famous works are his giant Trolls, made out of recycled materials. More than 125 of them have been built from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean, from forests to deserts. He has also built more than 7,000 birdhouses all over the world. Some of his most acclaimed works include the Happy Wall (Beijing, Las Vegas, Hollywood, Rio De Janeiro, Santiago de Chile, Edmonton, Copenhagen, Roskilde) and the Future Forest (Chapultepec Park, Mexico City).

His passion for recycling and upcycling started when Thomas Dambo’s parents taught him and his brother the value of protecting nature and using recycled materials to make their own toys, costumes, tree houses, and items. In 2010, he graduated in Interactive Design from Kolding Design School. In his life, he has shown multifaceted interest in art and the music world: he has performed as a rapper, human beatbox, graffiti- and street artist. In 2011, he decided to quit his job in Danish television to fully embrace a full-time career in art. Today, Thomas Dambo lives on his farm in the Danish countryside, where he has his studio. He also offers talks about his activistic art practice and workshops to teach people how to reuse and upcycle. 

My mission is Waste No More: our world is drowning in trash, while we are running out of natural resources. I spend my life showing the world that beautiful things can be made out of trash. I give new life to discarded materials by turning them into large-scale artworks. My aim at the moment is to build 1,000 Trolls using recycled materials all over the world,” states Thomas Dambo.

Thomas Dambo´s creative vision is to match together the beauty and the trash, together with the sense of adventure coming from the research needed to find his works on-site – most of which are hidden in natural sites. He works in and with local communities, who are involved in several stages of his projects, such as finding the discard materials, and maintaining the works. “The involvement of people is essential in my mission. I can give an example, but it´s the whole world that has to waste no more”, highlights Thomas Dambo. 

About South County Tourism Council The South County Tourism Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the towns of Charlestown, Coventry, East Greenwich, Exeter, Hopkinton, Narragansett, North Kingstown, Richmond, South Kingstown, West Greenwich and Westerly as a single leisure travel destination known as “South County”.   For more information, please visit southcountyri.com.

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