Interview: Ten Minutes With Tim Gosling

1. If you were an artwork what would you be?

A Singer Sargent Oil Painting most definitely (pictured above). It has strength and light that almost demands attention – a place in time and a great sense of character.

2. Outside of your family who has had the biggest impact on you?

That’s a tricky one as my father, who took the first photograph of DNA was a huge impact on my life and my thinking… I guess outside the family it would be David Linley who was a remarkable teacher and has such a great sense of craftsmanship and quality.

3. Which song on your iPod makes you feel like you can take on the world?

Well that’s an interesting question, considering I collect and listen to 78s – I think it would be a Come On Get Happy, sung back in the 1940’s. I can visualise myself striding out of the house taking on anything after that song.

 4. When was the last time your heart skipped a beat?

Last night at the new production of La Boheme when I heard the Tenor, Benjamin Bernheim sing the lead for his first debut at the opera house – what a voice! 

5. If you were to do a TED talk what would it be about?

I’m fortunate enough to lecture around the world and strangely have always wanted to do a TED lecture – I think my topic would be ‘How the invention of contemporary materials changes the way we design our furniture’

6. My alter-ego profession would be…

Mmm just one alter- ego? …but I have so many!

7. £14.20 left in your bank account, what do you spend it on?

I would give it to someone who needed it more than me. 

8. What is the most treasured object in your own home?

I know it sounds so shallow to say this but I derive so much pleasure from the hundreds of objects and paintings I have at home that it’s tricky to choose just one … but I love the painting I have of the Queen Mother painted by Bernard Dunstan RA in 1958 for the Royal College of Surgeons. It’s very Singer Sargentesqe and has so much presence. She was an extraordinary lady and makes me smile when I walk past her.

9. Which book or film was a game changer in your way of thinking?

When I was about 12 I read Watership Down, a magical book about rabbits and their sense of the world – it had a huge impact on me. All about death and being able to imagine a life greater than which is visible.

10. Where’s your favourite place of calm to gather your thoughts?

I try and meditate each morning in the Plaster Room at home. It is filled with plaster castes and gets the morning sunlight streams in. It is a perfect space to rebalance my head and connect to my thoughts.

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