My wife and I were hiking in Breckenridge, Colorado, and stumbled upon the guy above.
Our troll friend is made of recycled wood, other recycled materials, and attracts thousands of people into the woods of Colorado. A Daish artist, Thomas Danbo, wanted to use his art to show the possibilities of recycling and earth care.
Why make something like this? Recycling is good, awareness of earth care is good, but why? By the size and scope I’m certain this creation took many hours, blood, sweat, and tears. Did Danbo believe the way to make people aware of caring for the earth best accomplished through a giant troll? Do people even know the history behind the troll? Does it change their perspective on recycling and caring for the one home we have?
Hard to quantify.
Art is first about us. We make things and build things because something in our bones is calling out. The results are never the impotence for sharing our work. The troll in the woods of Breckenridge is a sight to behold. It brings people from all over the world to see its size, scope, and beauty from primarily recycled materials.
How many people now recycle and make intentional plans to care for our earth because of the troll? Not sure. But I’m sure Thomas Danbo would spend hours of his life making this troll if one or no people changed their minds about the earth.
The Troll-Artist creates because he can’t do otherwise. He makes this thing and shares it with the world and the results are out of his control. Based on our experience, the troll is bringing much joy to kids, men, women, and children from around the world. I'm guessing not because of the recycled materials.
Most of our work while intended to do one thing almost always has other side benefits. How many times have I shared a talk on one subject and someone comes up and says this idea affected them? When their idea was never my main intention.
Art works like this. Art works on many levels. Your art works on many levels.
Whatever you’re making. Don’t worry so much about the direct intended consequences. Let the work speak on the varying levels it needs to speak.
Even if you’re making giant trolls in the woods.