Born: Bedford Downs Station, WA
LANGUAGE GROUP: Gija
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.