A crew from Boothbay Harbor’s Bristol Marine recently volunteered at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, lending considerable expertise to the construction of the gardens’ newest exhibit, giant troll sculptures designed by internationally known recycled arts activist and artist Thomas Dambo. The series of mammoth, recycled-wood trolls underscores the gardens’ 2021 theme focusing on the Maine woods, from history to ongoing importance to health, recreation, and the state’s economy.
Construction and fine design are Bristol Marine’s wheelhouse, and community involvement is part of the company’s mission. Employees regularly dedicate their time to programs focused on youth development, education, and the environment.
“The trolls definitely fit that criteria,” said Daniel Ungier, vice president of guest experience and education at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. “Our goal for this exhibit is to give young visitors access to experiences and discoveries that engage the imagination and entice guests of every age onto our trails.”
“The ‘Bristol Boys’ are a great crew,” said photographer Bob Mitchell. “This was definitely something different than we’re used to, and we had a great time.”
Mitchell, incidentally, has not only been photographing the Bristol Marine crew on the restoration of the schooner Ernestina-Morrissey, but was a frequent photographer at the gardens in its early days.
“Working on this project gave me a chance to come back to the gardens in a different way,” Mitchell said, “contributing to a unique exhibit that will be here for years to come.”
Dambo, an internationally renowned sculpture artist from Copenhagen, Denmark, led the installation of these recycled-wood art sculptures. Wherever Dambo creates installations, he likes to bring community members together and co-create with salvaged materials sourced nearby. Dambo’s diverse and varied work can be found worldwide, telling a story of local community and of global connection.
Bristol Marine, established in Rhode Island in 1998, has long been a celebrated part of the centuries-old yachting tradition born from a community steeped in maritime tradition and heritage. The company is active the community and involved with many local groups and nonprofit organizations.
Mitchell has lived and photographed in Maine for over 40 years. Mitchell’s work is well known throughout the area, through his long time affiliation with the local newspaper, his books and Connections Publishing, started by his wife in 1980.
At nearly 325 acres, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is the largest public garden in New England. The mission of the gardens is to inspire meaningful connections among people, plants, and nature through horticulture, education, and research. For more information, go to mainegardens.org or call 633-8000.