installation by Marci Crist and Andre McConnachie, photo by Sean Tamblyn
ROGUE WAVE STORIES
Richard O’ Brien and ROGUE of the Year 2007
Richard O’Brien was a very creative individual who facilitated many artistic activities in the community. Many knew him as Co-owner and Manager of The Bamboo and its twenty-year history on Queen Street West. Later in his life he became disabled, used a wheelchair, yet continued to do projects and live on the Island. Eager to participate in ROGUE WAVE 2007, Richard submitted his proposal for Paint-Bomb that addressed the re-design of the Ferry Docks waiting area. His challenge was to get the approval to install the prepared drawings at the Docks. Why it was a challenge is because relations between the Docks and Island residents have not always been smooth. At zero hour Richard was able to finally negotiate approval of his installation. He was very proud of his accomplishment and carried his working drawings around with him. Sadly, Richard died during the exhibition. The Ferry Docks did re-paint the waiting area, but not as Richard proposed. Because he was successful in taking on a challenging situation, and, in his memory, we have established a new element to the exhibition -
ROGUE of the Year.
Warren Hoselton and Tour des Trees
Warren Hoselton is not a visual artist. He is the Park Superintendent on Toronto Island, an avid cyclist and arborist. In 2007 he installed Tour des Trees with over 30 bicycles in a tree at Centre Island – a visually stunning work that attracted a lot of attention. Warren’s participation illustrates the good relationship that has been established between ROGUE WAVE and the City of Toronto’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry.
Claudette Abrams and Flight Path
For some artists, the ROGUE WAVE installation inspires a body of work. Claudette Abrams is a photographer. Fight Path was a site-specific installation, scale silhouette of a jet, constructed of composted top-soil mounded on a grassy area near the Ward’s Island Ferry Dock (.05 x 22 x 25 metres).
Claudette was told by an airplane mechanic that the work was clearly visible by people in planes that deviated from the regular flight path that restricts air traffic over parks and residential areas, hence the title of the piece.
Using this work as subject matter over the year, the Flight Path photo series was developed and aired on TTC platform screens as part of the CONTACT Photography Festival in May 2008. It was also was projected at 96 McCaul Street, Toronto, for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche in October 2008. The photo series is an image-loop documenting the seasonal changes the site-specific project on Wards Island had undergone in one full year. It was also included in LAND ART, a forum for artists who create land art, environmental art and earthworks.
Damage to installations sometimes occurs, usually at night. For ROGUE WAVE 2007 we recruited local youth, who are prowling about the Island at night anyway, to watch the work. They took pride in their role and we were happy to have them on our side. Resulting from this, one of the youth, who now has a business caring for trees in the Island community, began to produce a series of works out of wood that have become permanent fixtures. We expect to see him participate in Rogue Wave 2010.
Sometimes works inspire responses by Island artists and/or community members and result in ‘rogue’ installations that are not part of the exhibition and appear in the Island landscape during the show. This has occurred many times throughout the seven year history of the exhibition. Inspired by Warren Hoselton’s Tour des Trees in ROGUE WAVE 2007, Island children roguishly installed a bicycle in a tree in the community, complete with label.
Conjuring Up Island History:
Sometimes works draw upon Island history. These works have a strong significance to community members who have lived there most of their lives. For visitors, they draw attention to the legacy of the community and its relationship to the City and Ontario’s histories. Marcia Crist’s Island Specter was an example. On September 21, 2007, Albert Fulton, Island Archivist, now deceased, wrote to the Island e-group:
“Marci Crist is to be congratulated for her nostalgic Rogue Wave entry, #7, at the site of the former 2 Channel. Jack and Dorothy Clapp, with sons Don and Doug, summered there in 1940-52, and Jack was the founder of the legendary Cove Fleet of Sabot prams. Marci's blown-up photo shows Doug's daughter Penny at the gate to the Clapps' former home in 1959. The house was flooded by high water in 1973 and consequently demolished. Penny Draper, now 50, is an author of children's books. Her second book, with the working title of Peril at Pier 9 is expected to be published before Christmas. It is set on Ward's Island and recounts the adventures of an Island boy at the time of the Noronic fire in September 1949. Its publication will be announced on this email group.”