News release - Issued by York Art Gallery
York Art Gallery launch crowdfunding campaign to bring Doug Fishbone’s Leisure Land Golf to the Artist’s Garden
York Art Gallery is hoping to strike a hole in one and bring cutting edge contemporary art to the heart of York this summer with Doug Fishbone’s Leisure Land Golf.
The work is a fully playable mini golf course with each hole designed by a contemporary artist, including Turner Prize shortlisted Yinka Shonibare and John Akomfrah OBE. It was first shown at the Venice Biennale in 2015.
Beyond the sculptural brilliance of the works it is hoped visitors will connect with important cultural topics, including: migration, global warming and globalisation.
York Art Gallery are hoping to bring seven of the holes to the Artists Garden this summer by raising the funds through the Art Fund’s crowdfunding platform Art Happens.
To be successful the £10,000 of funding needs to be raised by March 23.
If successful Leisure Land Golf would be in York from June 2 to September 3.
Doug Fishbone said: “I am looking forward to working on this campaign to bring Leisure Land Golf to York. The Artists Garden is a beautiful and unique space that would provide a fantastic backdrop to the artworks. I really hope the campaign is successful and that the course becomes a fun, interesting and thought-provoking addition to the Gardens over the summer months.”
Laura Turner, senior curator of art at York Art Gallery, said: “Leisure Land Golf is such an interesting and innovative artwork which we would love to bring to York. The “crazy golf” course offers an accessible and interactive way of engaging with contemporary works of art by highly respected international artists. We think it would be a very popular and fun installation for the Artists Garden this summer.”
The gallery have teamed up with Doug Fishbone, the course’s creator, to offer a range of bespoke rewards for those who support the project, to ensure the golf comes to York. The rewards range from exclusive totes bags, prints, an invite to an exclusive evening private view to a round of crazy golf with the artist himself. To play the course will cost £3, but most rewards include a free round of golf. To see all the rewards and to donate please go to https://www.artfund.org/art-happens
Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf is a touring exhibition by New Art Exchange (NAE), Nottingham. The Exhibition was originally commissioned by EM15, a collective of arts organisations from the East Midlands, for the #56 Venice Biennale.
The seven holes we are hoping to bring to the Artists Garden this summer are by Turner Prize nominee, Yinka Shonibare MBE, John Akomfrah OBE, Hetain Patel, Ellie Harrison, Doug Fishbone, Eyal and Ines Weizman and Nottingham based collective Reactor.
It is hoped the installation will transform the Artist Garden into a playful and tactile environment, taking visitors on an amusing and thought provoking journey as they navigate the course.
More information on the holes:
John Akomfrah OBE examines the mediated images of death, in particular of unarmed African Americans shot by police in the United States in recent years, where the hoodie, the ubiquitous costume of the disenfranchised youth, becomes a threat to the status quo.
Doug Fishbone depicts the fated Costa Concordia, the cruise ship driven onto the rocks off the coast of Tuscany by its captain, who was cavorting on the bridge with a beautiful young woman at the time of impact. As the disaster unfolded, he promptly abandoned ship, leaving his passengers to fend for themselves. Like few other symbols, the modern cruise ship embodies the messy contradictions at work in capitalism’s production and delivery of the leisure experience – rigid class divisions, out-of touch leadership that falls apart in a crisis, offshore set-ups designed to dodge the tax man, indifference to its workers and to its impact on the environment. The whole arrangement is funded by money freely paid, from people needing a holiday and unaware what such voyages actually drag in their wake, or perhaps they are just unconcerned.
Ellie Harrison speculates that the UK as an island state is likely to remain temperate as global temperatures continue to rise and many parts of the world become uninhabitable. The indirect impact of this on the UK could be a massive influx of “climate refugees”, making the current backlash and animosity towards immigrants we are currently witnessing in Europe seem trivial.
Yinka Shonibare MBE explores the complexity of contemporary African identity and power relations between the West and Africa. The football pitch becomes a site for the struggle for economic survival, played out by the African football player for both himself and his team. This explosive tension is represented by a mushroom cloud of footballs decorated with Shonibare’s signature African textiles.
Hetain Patel’s squatting figure exhibits a characteristic posture of India that is only adopted by the working and lower classes. The displacement of this posture to Europe in a game of mini golf - itself a working class leisure activity – frames industrial cultural exchange, specifically production lines involved in import/export.
Eyal and Ines Weizman presents an abstracted scale model of Kaliningrad, formerly known as Konigsberg, a city in Russia connected by seven bridges over the River Pregel. The aim of the game, based on the famed mathematical conundrum of the Seven Bridges of Konigsberg, is to return to your starting point by playing the ball across each bridge once only, a seemingly impossible task. The problem was unwittingly solved by RAF bombers during the last months of WWII, who made the route navigable by demolishing two of the original bridges.
Reactor – an additional hole created for when Leisure Land golf was shown at the new Art Exchange in Nottingham. Unlike most miniature golfing greens where depictions of the world are pared down to miniature size, the other sculptures on Reactor’s green are crudely scaled-up, turning unassuming and everyday objects into hazards for players to overcome.
Note to Editors:
A selection of images of the works are available on request.
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Closed: 25, 26 December and 1 January
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