This page is dedicated to the memory of my father Basil Goulding. He was my first and lasting art teacher. To this day, I often see through his eyes. As a young man, we spent hours perusing art catalogues, attending shows and rehanging his extensive art collection of mostly contemporary Irish artists, although there was a sprinkling of international names such as Antoni Tapies, Oscar Kokoshka, Frank Auerbach, Henry Moore and others. Through this passion of his I was lucky to grow up meeting visiting artists and gaining an insight into the minds and practices of artists. We also shared a love of Sam Beckett!

Basil Goulding"Basil Goulding"

"Invariably the hunt starts when I enter unknown territory and use means that I have no knowledge of. The challenge is to go right over the brink of what I've already learnt. Floundering in uncertainty, I wait to pick up a new scent."

-Tim Goulding, 1991

I make paintings that hover on the boundary between abstraction and realism. I want them to work within their own four walls whilst retaining a resonance of the world outside, to make something that looks as if it came about by natural causes, that has an air of inevitability and rightness. Something that exudes a buttery or gritty poetry, that makes you discover it as you might an individual pebble on the beach, shining in its own quiet way."

Tim Goulding


The Floating World paintings are visual extemporisations on the theme of transparency as the world we see as real. In fact, this reality forms and dissolves ceaselessly and any depiction of it is a snapshot of a timebound appearance. Thus, any image could be deemed to be an image of this floating world. In these few pictures, I have played around with trying to make equivalencies for the sensing of this outward instability; for the quiet joy that arises by itself when personhood fades (transparency) and the so often ignored background is seen to be shining through the 10,000 things (as the Tao Te Ching describes the creation). In inevitably the pictures galloped off in their own directions as well, so it would be more accurate to say these images are produced by the time honoured method of ‘see and play’
-Tim Goulding, 2008

Floating World

Visit Floating World

A journey through art, poetry and music.

Looking back on a longish life it dawns on me that from the age of reason there has been an unconscious thread running along, sometimes well-hidden and sometimes overt. It is very possible this is the same for every human being. This is the desire to understand what we are, why we are, where we are and is there a purpose or reason to it all.

The fundamental drive, after the obvious cellular imperative which is to survive and replicate, is to find contentment of some sort. Each strike out in their own manner to achieve this be it with material efforts or psychological moves. It might entail writing plays, robbing banks, exercising political power or even crueller pursuits. It might be sitting on your bum in a monastery or running marathons. The sky’s the limit.

In my case I have played the role of spiritual detective.

At the core of my painting, my music and its lyrics and especially in my recent writings has been this burning desire to ‘set the world aright’, to set ‘my world’ aright is more the truth of it.

Briefly skipping to the current view, it has become mightily apparent that the obstacle to these efforts has been an idea of a person called Tim Goulding. He has been standing in his own light, blocking the view. He has believed and maintained an identity concocted from the life experiences, the family and the conditioned knowledge, as it arrives at his door, moment to moment.

The extraordinary journey that took place and still takes place is not the means with which to satisfy the eternal enquiries. To put it bluntly the identity that most people encourage one to assemble is the very mischief maker. It is glaringly obvious that far from respecting ‘traditions ‘it may well be a lot better to examine their function.

Now the focus lay on the shedding of the heavy knapsack of ego and self-interest. However, having investigated that, it become clear that this is an impossible task because he who wants to shed is still there hoping to achieve the reward. That is why most of the great sages down the years have said that there must be zero agenda and that there is no way to proceed. ‘The path exists but not the traveller on it’ is a well-known Buddhist axiom. ‘There is no way to truth, truth is a pathless land’, says J. Krishnamurti.

These musings may appear irrelevant to assembling a life story but believe me they are the very key to making some sense, or nonsense as Zen would have it, of a life. The human mind is fascinated by story. It prefers stories that tell of tragedies, problems and drama. It encourages the identity factory. Far from being of use these identities are usually at variance with each other; hence war on the micro and macro level. My philosophy clashes with yours, my ideas oppose yours, my culture is at odds with yours, and my world view is abhorrent to yours.

Where are these barriers when we sleep each night? It is a surprising thing to realise that ideals are brutal things.

-Tim Goulding, 2014


‘Revelation’ was a carborundum print made at the Graphic Studio Dublin and exhibited in a National Gallery of Ireland exhibition so titled. It invited graphic artists to respond to a work in the national collection

‘Revelation’ has obvious religious overtones and of course Francis Danby’s ‘The opening of the Sixth Seal’ (from the book of Revelations) sprang to mind at once along with Rembrandt’s ‘The rest on the flight into Egypt’. Both capitalise on the use of chiaroscuro of which Rembrandt is an acknowledged master. As a youngster, these dramatic otherworldly visions were mesmerising. Hence, I have attempted to make a print that reflects this appearance of light out of darkness.

Only subsequently came the understanding that ‘the revelation’ is that there is no such thing as revelation or, maybe more to the point, that everything is a revelation.”
-Tim Goulding, 2008

Patching The Void


A text written to accompany a large painting of that name which was commissioned by the Bank of Ireland in the early seventies. It is 18ft long by 4 and one half foot high and painted in dots.

A pool of light-a planetary system - a sun with radiating particle. The eye scans the subject (and hence often dismisses it), It is open to interpretation- to your own associations.

For myself, I wanted the painting to be symbolic of an underlying unity that encompasses diversity, each dot though minutely individual in shape and colour, serves to emphasise the pure white luminosity of the background. This ground is the focal point of the painting – the formless, uncoloured and untouched area at the centre.
The circle, man’s symbol for completion and fulfilment, provides the structures for the painting. Concentric circles have been squeezed into ellipses. These embrace a rigid geometrical background upon which float watery organic shapes – detached but in sympathy.

The theme is light which is outside and inside us which lights our beautiful world and is there when the atom is split; that babies love and plants and flowers thirst after. It puts a sparkle in the eye and gives us solace

-Tim Goulding c. 1973

“On the voyage of life, the marks we leave--be they poetry, paint or music—mirror our unfolding inner realisations”

-Tim Goulding 1991