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News release - Issued by York Art Gallery

Tee-riffic! Doug Fishbone’s Leisure Land Golf is coming to York Art Gallery’s Artists Garden this summer

June 3 - September 3

Doug Fishbone’s Leisure Land Golf is coming to York Art Gallery this summer to ‘putt’ your golf skills to the test.

See the Artists Garden transformed into an innovative miniature golf course and be taken on a journey through amusing and thought provoking works of playable art.

Each golf hole has been designed by leading contemporary artists, including Turner Prize shortlisted Yinka Shonibare and John Akomfrah OBE, and challenges the social and political issues of today’s society.

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 installation at York was made possible following a successful Art Happens fundraising campaign.

The course will be open from June 3 until September 3. £3 for adults and £2 for children.


More information on each of the holes:

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.

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.

Monday- Sunday: 10am-5pm.
Last admission: 4:30pm
Closed: 25, 26 December and 1 January


YMT Card Holder FREE
Adult (with 10% Gift Aid Donation) £7.50
Adult (without donation) £6.81
Child (16 and under) FREE with a paying adult
Access Day Ticket £4.00

For further Information contact Lee Clark, communications manager, telephone 01904 687673 or email

About Art Fund

Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for art. In the past five years alone Art Fund has given £34 million to help museums and galleries acquire works of art for their collections. It also helps museums share their collections with wider audiences by supporting a range of tours and exhibitions, and makes additional grants to support the training and professional development of curators. Art Fund is independently funded, with the core of its income provided by 123,000 members who receive the National Art Pass and enjoy free entry to over 240 museums, galleries and historic places across the UK, as well as 50% off entry to major exhibitions and subscription to Art Quarterly magazine. In addition to grant-giving, Art Fund’s support for museums includes Art Fund Museum of the Year (won by the V&A, London, in 2016) and a range of digital platforms.

Find out more about Art Fund and the National Art Pass at
For further information please contact Madeline Adeane, Press Relations Manager, / 0207 225 4804