I started painting when I left school... I've been doing so every since

Tim Goulding is an Allihies-based artist and member of Aosdana. In our 'Person to Person' feature,  he talks about his life, family and new work, which he was due to show at The Lavit Gallery this month
I started painting when I left school... I've been doing so every since

Artist Tim Goulding.

TELL us about yourself;

My name is Tim Goulding and I have been a painter and musician all my life. On leaving school at 18, I started painting. Apart from a few months on a two-year scholarship studying textile design and embroidery in a class of 18 girls at Konstfackskolan, the State school of Art in Stockholm, I have been painting ever since.

I am ‘taught by an ignorant master’; myself. In my early twenties I joined the psychedelic lounge band Dr Strangely Strange and we toured Ireland and the UK for a few years at the end of the ’60s and early ‘70s making three albums. The band still exists, and we still perform an occasional gig.

Where were you born?

I was born, appropriately, in Hatch Street, Dublin in 1945.

Where do you live?

I have lived near Allihies on the Beara Peninsula since 1968.


My father Basil was a prominent Dublin sportsman, businessman and art collector and my mother Valerie founded the Central Remedial Clinic in Dublin. I am blessed to have had such inspiring parents. Also blessed to have been married to Georgina for the last 15 years.

My beloved daughter Camille is married to an American musician and they unfortunately live in the Disunited States of America, but luckily in a pleasant town in northern Michigan with their daughter, my granddaughter, Odessa. Luckily not too far from the Canadian border. I have two brothers, the elder Lingard, is a retired headmaster and professional racing driver, and younger brother Ham a retired Aer Lingus captain, engineer and now starting a new life as a farmer.

Best friend?

My best friend was the painter, the late Maurice Henderson, who lived and worked in Allihies for many years. His mother said that I was the brother he never had. But of course there are many best friends who have travelled the course over 50 years. My neighbour Paul Scully and his wife Ger are the closest, having known them since the early ’70s. Ger is an Emmy award winning costume designer with a big heart and Paul was the sound engineer with the Pogues and our own band, he also produced our third album Alternative Medicine in 1997. We went to India together in 1972 and his worldly-wise humour and insight is a constant joy.

Earliest childhood memory?

Lighting a bonfire in half of a tin globe on my bedroom floor which seemed a natural thing to do for me at the time, but not to my parents.

Person you most admire.

Amongst the living I would include Eckhart Tolle, Michael D and the musician Jimmy Bergin Historically it must be Rumi and Robert Adams.

Person who most irritates you?

Where does irritation start? The greatest addiction is to thought and judgement and there are plenty of candidates. It’s hard to trump Trump.

Where was your most memorable holiday?

My wife and I travelled around the world in 2004 / 2005 for four months, visiting Singapore, Thailand (missing the tsunami by 10 days) , Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, the Marquesas (where Gauguin is buried), Los Angeles, Oaxaca in Mexico and London. After all that I proposed and was accepted at Camden Market in London. Oh, happy Day.

Favourite TV programme?

Following the Formula 1 series.

Favourite radio show?

John Creedon show.

Your signature dish if cooking?

‘Timmy’s Dahl’. My secret recipe includes spinach and black tea.

Favourite restaurant?

Iyer’s in Cork city. Here you can get the cream of South Indian cooking.

Last book you read?

Not I, Not Other Than I, The Life And Teachings Of Russel Williams, edited by Steve Taylor. An extraordinary and sometimes tragic tale of the adventures of a man who was the head of the Birmingham Buddhist society for 50 years whilst not being a Buddhist himself.

Best book you read?

The Heart of Awareness, a translation of the Astavakra Gita by Thomas Byrom.

Last album/CD/download you bought?

Cinematic by Robbie Robertson, which includes the track Once Were Brothers, the title of his recent film. The film is his music bio which highlights the music of The Band, probably the greatest American rock band of the twentieth century.

The film is heart-breaking as it features the moment in time when five musicians came together in a unique brotherhood and made peerless music that reflected what has become known as Americana. Then they were destroyed by drink and heavy drugs.

Favourite song?

Bird On The Wire by Leonard Cohen.

One person you would like to see in concert?

Carlos Santana.

Do you have a pet?

We have two dogs, John Nesbit, an elderly Labrador with the sweetest nature who resembles the late British politician Harold Macmillan. The other is an eight-year-old bearded collie called Freddie who is highly intelligent and puppyish. He has become our shadow.

Morning person or night owl?

Definitely a midnight owl. The creative juices start to flow at sunset.

Your proudest moment?

Receiving royalties of about €1.50 from China for 300 downloads of my 1969 song Dr Dim and Dr Strange, from the Kip of The Serenes album, as ringtones. The chorus is “Dry throat, hard stool, bitter pill as a rule”. The Chinese have exotic tastes or don’t understand English.

Spendthrift or saver?

If you put some money by each week you will be surprised how little you have at the end of the year.

Name one thing you would improve in your area in which you live?

I love it the way it is.

What makes you happy?

Happy is when I am empty. As John Cage expressed, you enter the studio with everyone, your friends, your enemies, the art world and your ideas. One by one they leave and if you are lucky you too.

How would you like to be remembered?

Posterity is now.

Tim just completed his exhibition MUSIC, which was due to be shown at The Lavit Gallery from October 23 to November 21. However, the gallery is closed, due to the new Level 5 restrictions. It is hoped the exhibition will be rescheduled to a later date.

Speaking about the exhibition, Tim said: “It is a radical break from my previous work which is true to form as I work in series which sometimes last a few years. Joan Miro had a sign at the entrance of his studio door reading ‘no train stops here’. Life and the reaction to it is ever fluid. This series refers to counterpoint in music and the spaces between notes that engender rhythm. I am surprised as anyone as to how these paintings came about.”

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