Review: Doug Fishbone’s Leisure Land Golf (EXHIBITION)


Review: Doug Fishbone’s Leisure Land Golf (EXHIBITION)

On until 19th June at the New Art Exchange in Nottingham, let me introduce you to Doug Fishbone’s Leisure Land Golf! Costs £2 for an adult, or £1.50 for a concession.

This art exhibition proves to be the perfect ‘viewing’ for people who might find more traditional gallery experiences boring.

As the name suggest, you play a round of mini golf. Each hole having been designed by an artist with a concept behind it. Near each hole there is an interpretation panel to explain the thought process behind each piece. I think that this art mini golf is a great idea and a great way to engage people. It’s also a really fun, playful way to explore darker subject matter. (Than you’d expect for mini golf in any case.)

I think there are certain designed holes that will resonate more with certain people. I just want to quickly mention the hole that the course finishes with. (It’s the righthand image.) This final hole is Ellie Harrison’s ‘Life Raft’. It is ‘a scale map of the UK floating in the adjacent canal – [it] offers a safe haven to immigrant golf balls that can make the treacherous crossing.’ 

Essentially, you have one chance on this hole. From your platform that represents mainland Europe (and more specifically Calais) you are asked to hit your ball into in the United Kingdom. Anywhere within the boundary, on the first go. And it is so much harder than it looks. I didn’t make it the first time (but landed in Scotland the second.) It’s such a great method to make you re-evaluate your own thinking, and add a new perspective. You are literally made to look from the other side. We become the outside looking in, and the chances of safely making that journey become a serious unlikelihood. It really makes you appreciate the difficulty and hardships that people face to make it to our country. And how we easily take that for granted. (I know this seems to be a lot to take away from a game of mini golf, but that’s the brilliance about this course.)

Definitely, definitely, if you are in Nottingham, or around, definitely go and see it! If not, I think it may be touring the UK (I think it has been a few places already) but I could be making all this up. Also, keep an eye out on the New Art Exchange, they seem to do some interesting things.

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