Timms, Freddie (1946)
Giji name Ngarrmaliny
Skin name Janama



Freddie Timms was born at a place called Police Hole near Foal Creek on Bedford Downs Station south-west of Warmun (Warrmarn – Turkey Creek), East Kimberley. His Gija name, Ngarrmaliny, is the same as that of his birthplace. He spent his childhood on Bow River and Lissadell Stations, then worked as a stockman, handyman and fencer on several stations throughout the East Kimberley. He knew Rover Thomas when they both worked at Bow River and Texas Downs, and danced and help paint boards for early performances of Thomas’s Gurirr – Gurirr. When they were all living at Frog Hollow south of Turkey Creek in the 1980s and Joel Smoker of Waringgarri Arts brought canvases to Jack Britten, Rover Thomas, Hector Jandaby and his father-in-law George Mung-Mung, Timms asked for canvases as well. He painted from then until the end of his life in 2017.

Painting in a style broadly similar to his fellow East Kimberley artists, Timms nevertheless developed a visual language that is recognisably his own, with expanses of plain paint lined with white dots. Many of his paintings are like aerial maps of the bones of the country where he lived and worked all his life. Each painting shows the distinctive geological and geographic features of the landscape: the black soil, red ground, sandy ground, hills, creeks and water holes, as well as historical and spiritually important places such as roads, stock yards, homesteads and dreaming sites. Much of the country where he worked on Lissadell Station, a frequent painting subject, is now under the waters of Lake Argyle, formed by the damming of the Ord River. He says “I think about the country where I was walking and camping, all the main water holes, all the camping areas. I remember the places where I used to go mustering and I follow them up with my painting”.

In partnership with gallerist Tony Oliver, Timms proceeded to set up Jirrawun Aboriginal Art Corporation to market work on a consignment basis for an increasingly wide group of Kimberley artists including Paddy Bedford, Churchill Cann, Goody Barrett, Phyllis Thomas, Rusty Peters, Hector Jandalay, Rammey Ramsey, Peggy Patrick and his father’s brother Timmy Timms.

His work is represented in all major collections in Australia and has been shown in galleries throughout the world including Germany (Aratjara: Art of the First Australians, Koln, 1993), Tokyo, Chicago (Art Chicago 1996), Paris (Baudoin Lebon, FIAC, 1996) and Auckland (Gow Langford Gallery 1999 – 2000).


Selected Solo Exhibitions

2018 Mr Timms, Raft Artspace, Sydney
2004 Freddie Timms, Melbourne Art Fair (Gould Galleries)
2003 Freddie Timms, Gould Galleries, Sydney
2002 Freddie Timms, Gould Galleries, Melbourne
2000 Freddie Timms – Recent Paintings, Gow Langford Gallery, Auckland, NZ
1999 Freddie Timms – Recent Paintings, Watters Gallery, Sydney
1999 My Country, William Mora Gallery, Melbourne
1997 Recent Paintings, Watters Gallery, Sydney

Selected Group Exhibitions

2021 Voyage across Aboriginal Australia – Founders’ Favourites, Fondation Burkhardt-Felder Arts et Culture, Moitiers, Switzerland
2019 Earthworks, JGM Gallery, London
2017 JGM Gallery, London
2008 Jirrawun Colour: Rammey Ramsey & Freddie Timms, Raft Artspace, Darwin
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 Jirrawun in the House: a contemporary vision of the East Kimberly. Parliament House, Canberra
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

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