Timothy Holding (b. 1940)

Ruskin in the Barrow, 1978, Watercolour on paper, 14 x 9 ½ in

[CAS 37] Acquired in 1980



Timothy “Tim” Holding was born in Birmingham in 1940 and gained an honours degree B.A. in Fine Art, majoring in Sculpture, at Durham University in 1964. He was Lecturer and Senior Lecturer I/C of Sculpture and 3D Design at Colchester School of Art from 1964 to 1993. He obtained various 3D commissions from Cambridge, Colchester, the University of Essex and other Essex schools (see below). Holding has held group and one-man shows in painting and sculpture, locally and nationwide. His sculptures are mainly abstract and made of wood, but he has also produced sculptures in aluminium and bronze (see below). He also likes to paint landscapes and still lifes in watercolour and has been involved with various local art groups as founder, president or tutor. He has been a member of Colchester Art Society for many years.


Ruskin was the artist’s much loved cat in the 1970s. When Tim, who had started painting the cat in the morning, was called in to lunch, the cat, that had left the barrow at the same time, returned and sat in the same pose after his return – the perfect model. Holding explains his art in the following terms: “Sunlight – Shadows – Rhythms – Water – Buildings – Landscapes – all these things are endlessly fascinating to me. Add to this a lifetime of involvement with the medium of watercolour and this goes some way to explaining my art.”

Selected Exhibitions

The Minories, Colchester, solo exhibition of paintings and sculptures, mid 1970s

Digby Gallery, Mercury Theatre, Colchester, solo exhibition of paintings and sculptures, 1975, 1992

Clacton County High School, Essex, sculpture, 1970s

Basildon High School, Essex, sculpture, 1970s

Essex University, Junior Common Room, sculpture, 1980s

Culver Square, Colchester, bronze and aluminium fountain featuring Oysters, Sea Holly (eryngium maritimum), the emblem of Colchester Art Society

Lexden, Essex, cast aluminium village sign featuring Lexden Church, the River Colne, a Watermill and a Butterfly after the Lexden Papillon family, “papillon” being the French word for “butterfly”, 2007

Lexden Park, Colchester, cast aluminium sculpture featuring Four Geese, commissioned by Lexden History Group

Castle Park, the Wetzlar Garden, Colchester, fountain featuring Kittens Holding up a Bronze Sphere with flowing water over it, commissioned by King Coel’s Kittens, a local charity involved with people and groups with special needs living in the community, 2012