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A huge 12-foot tall troll is built by Kim and volunteers with completely non-toxic materials

The most important aspect of this sculpture is that it is truly interactive. The most common way that people interact with public art is by having their pictures taken in front of them. It is shocking how little of public art is intended for this basic purpose. There is a great deal of beautiful art in this city, but most of it only looks good standing by itself. The classic monument style is cluttered and diminished if there are people standing in front. I wanted to create a sculpture whose composition was completed when someone was nearby. It should look at it’s best with the public involved.

Why a troll?

I am of Norwegian descent and when the 'Lord of the Rings' movies came out, I recognized the Ents as being similar to tree trolls from Scandinavian Mythology. People will identify with this image, but it has special meaning to me. I grew up in a small logging community in Montana, and most of my life was spent hiking and camping in the deep forests of the Northwest. The great cedar trees have always instilled a sense of awe, and surprisingly, awareness. They seemed thoughtful creatures, old, wise, and kind. Seeing the character of Treebeard in the movies inspired me to do a Northwest version.

Why Paper Mache?

Most sculptors never get the chance to work large. It can be really expensive. A lot the materials are toxic, require safety equipment, a lot of ventilation or at the very least an outdoor site. That is the joy of working in Paper Mache. This troll was built in a space barely larger than the sculpture itself. It was done indoors with no additional ventilation and with a lot of recycled paper products. Best of all, this project was intended to prove just how beautiful and sophisticated a surface can be made.

The Volunteers

Twenty-five dedicated volunteers showed up to learn how this could be done. I would like to thank them all for their tremendous efforts in this last month. It has been fun, exciting, exhausting, and wonderful. You have been a great group to work with! See a list of the volunteers here.

What will happen to this troll?

For the months of August and September 2006 he will be shown at the Vidya Gallery, 619 Western Ave. #22, Seattle WA, 98104. After that, several of the volunteers may take him around to the local fairs and markets as a photo-op to get some exposure. We are hoping to find a more permanent home for him.

Kim Graham Studios
Website: kimgrahamstudios.com