Freddie Timms

Freddie Timms

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DOB: 1944
Born: Bedford Downs Station, WA
COMMUNITY: Frog Hollow, Warmun, WA

Freddie Timms (Ngarrmaliny Janama) was born at Police Hole, Bedford Station Downs in 1944. As a child he lived on Bow River and Lissadell Stations, later working as a stockman, handyman and fencer on several stations throughout the East Kimberley. He knew Rover Thomas when they both worked at Bow River Station and Texas Downs, and danced and help paint boards for early performances of Thomass Gurirr-Gurirr.

When he was living at Frog Hollow, south of Turkey Creek in the 1980s, Joel Smoker of Waringarri Arts brought canvases to Jack Britten, Rover Thomas, Hector Jandany and his father-in-law, George Mung-Mung. Timms asked for canvases as well and painted passionately. He painted in a style reminiscent of Thomas but recognisably his own, with expanses of paint lined with white dots. Many of his pictures are like aerial maps of the bones of the country where he lived and worked all his life. Mapping is on a topographic level showing features of the landscape such as black soil, red ground, sandy ground, hills, creeks and water holes as well as a historical and spiritual level, showing roads, stockyards, homesteads and dreaming places. Much of the country where he worked on Lissadell, a frequent painting subject, is now under the water of Lake Argyle formed by the damming of the Ord River.

Freddie Timms is one of the few Aboriginal artists from a traditional background who, on occasion, sought to make a political statement in his work. He began exhibiting at Watters Gallery through an introduction from Tony Oliver, whom he had met in Melbourne. Later, he and Oliver set up a corporation (now Jirrawun Arts), to market work on a consignment basis for an increasingly wide group of Kimberley artists, including Paddy Bedford, Rusty Peters, Churchill Cann, Goody Barrett, Phyllis Thomas and his father's brother Timmy Timms. He also helped initiate the Neminuwarlin Performance group with his aunt and lead singer and dancer Peggy Patrick. Freddie is now sadly deceased.


  • Hank Ebes Collection, Melbourne
  • National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
  • Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
  • National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
  • Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
  • Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
  • Gabrielle Pizzi Collection, Melbourne
  • Kelton Foundation, Santa Monica CA, USA
  • Artbank, Sydney
  • Wollongong City Gallery, Wollongong
  • The Holmes a Court Collection, Perth
  • The Laverty Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
  • Aboriginal Art Collection, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Fondation Burkhardt-Felder Arts et Culture, Moitiers, Switzerland

Awards and Recognition

2004 DVD 'Artists of the East Kimberley', At Gallery of NSW, Sydney, NSW
2001 18th NATSIAA, Darwin - Finalist
2000 17th NATSIAA, Darwin - Finalist
1999 16th NATSIAA, Darwin - Finalist
1999 ABC TV 'Art from the Heart' produced by Richard Moore & Jeremy Eccles
1992 9th NATSIAA, Darwin - Finalist
1991 8th NATSIAA, Darwin - Finalist
1990 7th NATSIAA, Darwin - Finalist


Selected Solo Exhibitions

2004 Freddie Timms, Melbourne Art Fair (Gould Galleries), Melbourne
2003 Freddie Timms, Gould Galleries, Sydney
2002 Freddie Timms, Gould Galleries, Melbourne
1999 Recent Paintings, Gow Langford Gallery, Auckland, NZ
1999 Recent Paintings, Watters Gallery, Sydney
1998 My Country, William Mora Galleries, Melbourne
1997 Recent Paintings, Watters Gallery, Sydney

Selected Group Exhibitions

2021 Reverence, D'Lan Contemporary, Melbourne
2021 Rover Thomas & Kimberley Ochre Painters, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle
2021 SIGNIFICANT, D'Lan Contemporary, Melbourne
2021 Voyage across Aboriginal Australia - Founders' Favourites, Fondation Burkhardt-Felder Arts et Culture, Moitiers, Switzerland
2021 Rover Thomas and Kimberley Ochre Painters, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle
2021 Of the Land, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2019 Earthworks, JGM Gallery, London
2017 JGM Gallery, London
2008 Last Tango at Wyndham, Raft Artspace, Darwin
2007 New Legend: Recent works from the Kimberley, William Mora Galleries, Melbourne
2006 Prism: Contemporary Aust. Art, Bridgestone Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan
2006 Great Masters, Aboriginal Art Museum, Utrecht, The Netherlands
2005 Interesting Times, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
2005 Beyond the Frontier, Sherman Galleries, Sydney
2004 Terra Alterius: Land of Another, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, University of NSW College of Fine Arts, Sydney
2003 True Stories: Art of the East Kimberley, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
2003 Kelly Culture: Reconstructing Ned Kelly, State Library of Victoria, Melbourne
2003 Jirrawun Jazz, Raft Artspace, Darwin
2002 Blood on the Spinifex, The Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne
2002 Rhapsodies in Country, GrantPirrie at Art Miami, FL, USA
2002 Jirrawun Artists, William Mora Galleries, Melbourne
2002 My Country, William Mora Galleries, Melbourne
2001 Four Men, Four Paintings, Raft Space, Darwin
2001 A Century of Collecting 1901-2001, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, College of Fine Arts, University of NSW, Sydney
2000 Landmark: Mirror Mark: Mal Nairn Auditorium, Northern Territory University, Darwin; Columbus State University, Georgia, USA; The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA ANU Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra
2000 Opening 2000, William Mora Galleries, Melbourne
1999 Painting Country, William Mora Galleries, Melbourne
1999 My Country, Northern Territory University Gallery, Darwin
1998 Thousand Journeys: Aboriginal Art from North WA, touring galleries in Tamworth, Newcastle, Albury, Mornington Peninsula, Ballarat, Mildura
1998 The Laverty Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
1998 Freddie Timms, Ken Whisson, Watters Gallery, Sydney
1998 Jirrawun Aboriginal Artists, Martin Browne Fine Art, Sydney
1998 Jirrawun Artists from Crocodile Hole, Jemma Stowe, Perth
1998 Summer Exhibitions No 13, Watters Gallery, Sydney
1997 Summer Exhibition, Watters Gallery, Sydney
1997 Pallingjang-Saltwater, Wollogong City Gallery, Wollongong
1996 Art Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA
1996 Galerie Baudoin Lebon, Paris FIAC, Paris, France
1996 Utopia Art, Sydney
1995 Turkey Creek Artists, William Mora Galleries, Melbourne
1993 Images of Power: Aboriginal Art of the Kimberley, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
1993 ARATJARRA: Art of the first Australians, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Koeln-Duesseldorf, Germany; Hayward Gallery, London, UK; Louisiana Museum; Humlebaek, Denmark
1991 Hogarth Galleries, Sydney
1991 Lindsay Street Gallery, Darwin
1990 Dreamtime Gallery, Perth
1989 Turkey Creek Recent Work, Deutscher, Melbourne