Where are the Mandurah giants?

One of the giants has gone missing.

Nearly everybody in WA knows about Danish artist Thomas Dambo’s Giants of Mandurah, but less well known is that one of the giants has done a runner.

The whimsical wooden giant has apparently legged it from the secret spot in Mandurah, where its friends are hidden around the city and has made its way up the freeway to Subiaco.

Thomas Dambo says that after accidentally being separated from its giant friends, this particularly curious giant has wandered off on its own adventure.

“We have it on very good authority that after embarking on a long journey from Mandurah and seeing many of the beautiful sites of Western Australia, it is due to arrive in the leafy surrounds of Subiaco on the 12th of November,” the artist said in a statement.

The Mandurah giants are also open to visitors on the same day where the free-to-view outdoor exhibition will run for at least a year.

Dambo is known around the world for his larger-than-life wooden sculptures celebrating the diversity, beauty and importance of the natural world, using recycled and locally sourced materials in his creations.

In Mandurah Dambo’s exhibition will feature at least five, up to five-metre-tall giants, that will engage with stories of Mandurah provided by the local community involved in their creation. 

The sculptures are intended to be protectors of the environment and will be placed in secret locations for visitors to find and get up close to.

Organisers weren’t giving too much away in terms of clues for the location of the Subiaco giant, but at five metres tall it will certainly be sticking its head up above the suburban fence lines.

There will be a trail map and traveller’s companion to help giant watchers find the magical beasts at www.giantsofmandurah.com.au.

Dambo wants us to go on what he calls a journey of self-discovery as we take part in a game for the young, and young at heart.

He has made 87 wooden sculptures that have been exhibited in his home country of Denmark, as well as Chile, China, France, Germany, South Korea and the United States of America.

Considered the world’s leading recycle artist, Dambo says he learned the value of recycling, sustainability, and unlimited imagination as a youngster. 

The artist has previously expressed his creativity through music, street art, and scenic design. 

He graduated from the Kolding Design School with a master’s degree in interactive design and began using recycled materials to create colourful art installations, building the foundation for his artwork today.

His works range from gardens made of recycled plastics to a functioning DIY Christmas market made from commercial refuse.

Giants of Mandurah is planned to celebrate and encourage stewardship and protection of the Peel region’s natural environment, highlighting its globally significant Ramsar-listed wetlands, and unique waterways, bushland and wildlife. 

Dambo says the artistic narrative and environmental story will sit alongside and is inextricably intertwined with a creation story gifted by the region’s traditional owners, the Bindjareb people.

“Coming from Denmark, Australian nature looks like pure magic straight out of a fairy tale, so I’m proud and excited to see my sculptures a part of such a unique setting.”

The larger-than-life hunt for Dambo’s giants will begin at the Mandurah Visitor Centre, where clues of the whereabouts of the Giants will be made available. 

Visitors will then need to explore the region to locate each giant, collecting a special symbol at each site along the way. Together, when the symbols are entered into the special codebreaker at the Mandurah Visitor Centre, the symbols will reveal the location of the final super-secret giant.

Visitors playing the game are urged not to ruin the fun for other players.

“We all know the existence of the Tooth Fairy is up for debate, but there is an unwritten law buried deep in our psyche that allows us in certain situations to pretend that she does. If you find a giant, please share your experience with others, but don’t spoil the game for them,” Dambo says. 

The Giants of Mandurah has been initiated and produced by FORM Building a State of Creativity and delivered in collaboration with the City of Mandurah. The project is supported by the State Government through Tourism WA’s Regional Events Program, the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, and Lotterywest, along with the City of Subiaco.

FORM CEO Tabitha McMullan says The Giants of Mandurah will allow visitors to choose the pace, order, mode of transport and even degree to which they complete the game. 

“While the adventure certainly can’t be done in one day, we encourage everyone to plan a leisurely stay in Mandurah to discover not only the giants, but all the other amazing experiences Western Australia’s Top Tourism Town of 2022 has to offer,” she says.

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Journalist and public relations specialist Allen Newton has worked across major media organisations in Western Australia and PR locally and internationally. He and wife Helen Ganska operate Newton Ganska Communications. Allen started his journalism career at the long defunct Sunday Independent and went on to become the founding editor for news website PerthNow, Managing Editor of The Sunday Times and PerthNow and then Editor-In-Chief of news website WAtoday. As well as news, he has been an editor of food and wine, real estate, TV and travel sections. He’s done everything from co-hosting a local ABC television pop show, to editing a pop music section called Breakout with Big Al, and publishing his own media and marketing magazine.