June 24, 2022

Jürgen Farklas, Zwerge im Wald / Dwarfs in the forest

 pictures by Dodo, added to Komoot,
website for outdoor experiences

The community of Bürbach with about 2100 inhabitants is part of the city of Siegen in Germany, located about 90 km east of Cologne. In a forest near the community one can see an arrangement of all kinds of dwarfs.

Life and works

This arrangement was created by Jürgen Farklas (March 8, 1951 - October 2, 2021), He grew up in Siegen and after his primary education followed a technical training with a focus on carpentry. 

After working in that field for several years, in 1984 when he was in his early thirties, he got a job in the technical department of the Siegerland Museum, which belongs to the municipality of Siegen. This city and regional museum not only has an art collection, but it also focuses on the history of the city, mainly its economic and industrial aspects.

In 1993 Farklas became a carpenter with the landscaping department of the municipality. In June 2000 he was appointed in that department as executive for central craft activities, this until his retirement at age 65 on January 31, 2016.

For 35 years Farklas was also a member of the Verein fúr Bürbacher Ortsgeschichte und Heimatplege (Association for local history and hometown beautification of Bürbach).

With a background like the one outlined here, it's easy to understand why Farklas began a project after his retirement that allowed him not only to indulge his woodworking skills, but also to contribute to beautifying the forest near his hometown.  

He began sculpting loose stumps and the lower ends of dead trees in the forest into colorful representations of fairytale characters, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, as well as other characters.

Farklas made these creations in an easily accessible, hilly piece of forest near the built-up area of Bürbach. In September 2018, the ensemble of fairytale characters had already taken shape in such a way that a local newspaper reported about it (only a photo, article is behind a paywall).

On the internet only limited information about Jürgen Farklas' art environment can be found. Sadly, the information in this post about his life and work is mainly based on the obituaries published after his death on October 2, 2021.

* Website Komoot with an entry about the ensemble of dwarfs 
* Obituary Jürgen Farklas

Jürgen Farklas
Dwarfs in the forest
57074 Bürbach, Siegen, Arnsberg region, North-Rhine-Westphalia State, Germany
can be visited freely
Google Maps with a series of 11 photos of the site

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