installation by Luisa Milan, photo by Baye Hunter


rogue wave n. an unpredictable, abnormally large wave that occurs on a seemingly random basis in the oceans. Freak waves, also known as rogue waves, or monster waves, are relatively large and spontaneous ocean surface waves that can sink even medium-large ships. Once thought to be legendary, they have in recent years come to be recognized as a natural and relatively common ocean phenomenon.

ROGUE WAVE was founded by four Island residents in the spring of 1998: Brad Harley, Michael Davey and Glenn McArthur. Previously, ‘rogue’ art installations had appeared on the Island only to be removed by Parks Department staff. In response to this, knowing that artists wanted to install works outdoors on the Island, and in a community with an usually large number of visual artists, the ROGUE WAVE organization was formed to create an exhibition of sculpture and installation art on Toronto Island. Since then, we have received funding support from the Toronto Arts Council and have organized seven exhibitions. An important outcome of the project is the cooperative relationship established with Parks, Recreation and Forestry, Park Supervisor, Warren Hoselton, and his staff who take an active and supportive role in the realization of the project and ongoing safety and maintenance issues. In 2007 Warren participated in the exhibition with his Tour de Trees installation.  ROGUE WAVE has inspired the creation of a number of other arts-based projects on the Island, both in the visual and performing arts.

The ROGUE WAVE exhibitions have included an enormous range of works, including site-specific installations, collaborative projects, pre-existing pieces that have been re-located, pirate radio broadcasts, fire and water sculptures and photographic installations. In addition, the exhibition has often featured musical events, such as ROGUE RAVE and specially commissioned musical pieces by artists such as Anne Bourne and Jacquey Malcolm. ROGUE artists range in experience from professional artists with national reputations, and artists working outside their traditional media to emerging artists and new collaborations. Known Canadian artists who have participated in past ROGUE WAVE exhibitions include Wende Bartley, Barbara Klunder, Michael Davey, Katherine Dolgy Ludwig, Jerry Englar, Leida Englar, Mitchell Fenton, Doug Guildford, Brad Harley, Delwyn Higgens, Erik Gamble, Laurie Jones, April Hickox, Janet Morton, Sandy Krzyzanowski, Luisa Milan, Michael Page, Christopher Pinheiro, and Irina Schestakowich. The artists participating in ROGUE WAVE come from the Island, Artscape Gibraltar Point, the City of Toronto, and points beyond.

Works in the exhibition must be safe for human interaction, environmentally appropriate, and able to withstand the elements for the duration of the exhibition. ROGUE WAVE opens in September, previously in conjunction with Toronto Arts Week and runs for eight weeks. The exhibition is open to the public seven days a week and typically attracts over 2,500 visitors. The organizing team handles promotion and provides maps showing the location of the pieces for viewers. All pieces are dismantled at the end of the exhibition.





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