Client: Jackson Hole Public Art
Location: Wilson, WY, United States
Completion date: 2020
Artwork budget: $130,000
Jackson Hole Public Art
Jackson Hole Land Trust
Giant wooden troll lands in conservation park. Thomas Dambo, commissioned by Jackson Hole Public Art, built a 25 foot-tall, female troll with driftwood hair. Mama Mimi was built using deconstructed wooden pallets on site. Her face, hands, and feet were built in Thomas’ studio in Copenhagen. She is thoughtfully nestled into Rendezvous Park, a Jackson Hole Land Trust conservation property adjacent to the Wild and Scenic Snake River. Mama Mimi is one of Dambo’s largest trolls and one of very few females. She sits peacefully facing east, watching over children of all ages swimming and paddling in the big pond. Her main job is to protect this beloved natural space conserved by the Jackson Hole Land Trust.
The site selection for the troll was vital to the success of the project. Mama Mimi was designed to be discovered. She is not immediately apparent when you arrive at the park. She was built to inspire further exploration of the landscape, increase connections to nature, and to attract new visitors to the park. Her right leg extends to a small island and the brave are invited to cross the pond on her outstretched leg! Thomas Dambo was selected for this project because of his strong recycling and environmental approach to sculpture. The location itself is a repurposed landscape, revitalized from a rock quarry and transformed into a natural community park. Thomas‘ ethos of recycling was strong fit with local conservation and zero landfill initiatives.
Dambo was initially invited by Jackson Hole Public Art and the Jackson Hole Land Trust to build a sculpture in 2020. He visited Jackson in late 2019 to explore the property and to design a site-specific concept. Stalled by the pandemic he returned in the spring of 2021 to build a giant troll. Jackson Hole Public Art facilitated all aspects of the project from funding through technical review, building, and documentation while the Jackson Hole Land Trust offered the unique community space. Thomas brought a crew with him and a local crew also participated in building over 10 days.
JH Public Art's community outreach included producing a Build-a-Troll Challenge video featuring the artist, local recycling and conservation staff, and data visualizations about the waste stream. The video challenge was shared with over 400 students who learned about the connection between recycling, waste management, and land conservation as they made hundreds of recycled mini trolls.