With the help of 25 volunteers, artist Kim Beaton constructed an enormous structure commonly referred to as Tree Troll. The figurative paper mache sculpture is composed entirely of non-toxic materials (paper, glue, acrylic paint, wood, screws, metal plates) and stands 12 feet tall like a colossal guardian of nature. The gentle giant is designed with a kind face in the image of the sculptor's late father Hezzie Strombo, a former lumberjack in Montana.
In an interview with Artisan Denizen, Beaton expands on her personal and collaborative project: "[My father] had died a few months prior at 80 years old. On June 2nd, at 3am, I woke from a dream with a clear vision burning in my mind. The image of my dad, old, withered and ancient, transformed into one of the great trees, sitting quietly in a forest. I leaped from my bed, grabbed some clay and sculpted like my mind was on fire. In 40 minutes I had a rough sculpture that said what it needed to. The next morning I began making phone calls, telling my friends that in 6 days time we would begin on a new large piece. The next 6 days, I got materials and made more calls. On June 8th we began, and 15 days later we were done. I have never in my life been so driven to finish a piece."
The piece now resides permanently at the Bellagio Casino where it is displayed annually for about 2.5 months out of the year (around Thanksgiving and the holidays).
Kim Beaton website
via [Lustik, Artisan Denizen]