A giant wooden troll is set to enchant Pease Park this spring.

The sculpture will be from the mind of Danish artist Thomas Dambo, whose trolls can be found nestled in forests and beaches around the world, including in a handful of U.S. cities, such as Miami, Breckenridge, Seattle and Portland. The Pease Park troll will be Dambo’s first Texas installation.

The big picture

Dambo and his crew will arrive in Austin and begin building the troll in late February. The troll will be completed and ready for public viewing in a wooded area just north of Kingsbury Commons by mid-March.

The troll will be built using wood from local sawmill Harvest Lumber; the majority of which comes from a water tower that used to reside at the J.J. Pickle Research Campus at The University of Texas at Austin.

While Dambo doesn't want to spoil any details about the name or story of the troll, his team said it will be about the relationship between humans, environment and animals in a dry area.
Curious Sue, a young and playful troll, reclines on the coast of Sentosa, an island in Singapore. (Courtesy Thomas Dambo)
What they’re saying

The creation of the Pease Park troll comes after an extensive public engagement process Pease Park officials conducted over the summer. Over 85% of the 1,500 survey participants were in support of the troll; however some respondents said they were concerned the troll would congest the park’s already small car lot and bring in large crowds.

Quote of note

"[Public art] can provide a connection between people and their environment, a valuable proposition in a time when it may be easy to feel disconnected from the world and the people around us,” Pease Park Conservancy CEO Nicole Netherton said in a blog post. “Public art can be a gateway—for questions, exploration and observation.”

Get involved

Dambo’s team will need about 100 volunteers to build the troll. Interested residents can find volunteering opportunities here.