Important Fine Art + Aboriginal Art
2 December 2015


born c.1946

ochres and pigment with synthetic binder on two Belgian linen panels

diptych: 180.0 x 300.0 cm overall

each canvas signed verso upper left: F Timms and inscribed verso: title, date and Jirrawun Arts cat. FT 3 2005 225 A+B

$25,000 – 35,000 (2)

Jirrawun Arts, Wyndham, Western Australia
Private collection, Melbourne

Catalogue text

Freddie Timms lived as a child on Bow River and Lissadell Stations, later working as a stockman and fencer on several stations throughout the East Kimberley. He knew Rover Thomas when they both worked at Bow River and Texas Downs, and Timms danced and helped paint boards for early performances of Thomas's Gurirr-Gurirr. He first began painting in the mid-1980s while living at Frog Hollow, south of Turkey Creek. Timms asked for canvases from Joel Smoker of Waringarri Arts who was supplying canvases to Jack Britten, Rover Thomas, Hector Jandany and his father-in-law, George Mung-Mung. He paints in a style that conforms to the East Kimberley archetype, originated by Rover Thomas, but is recognisably his own with discrete areas of colour outlined in double rows of white dots. He is noted for his careful aerial landscapes and mapping that has a feeling of familiarity that can only stem from someone who has an indisputable knowledge of this land.

Painted across two canvases, Jack Yard, 2005 is a monumental depiction of the artist’s country. Located on the Wilson River with the large permanent waterholes, Jack Yard is part of Bow River Station approximately forty kilometres to the north of the Warmun Community. It is where Freddie Timms lived as a boy and his knowledge of the country comes from the years spent working as a stockman on Bow River and Lissadel Stations. The pastoral lease for this area has now been granted to members of his extended family. Like many of his paintings this work evokes features of the landscape such as black and red soils, the sandy ground, hills, creeks and water holes. It shows roads, stockyards, buildings and at a spiritual level, dreaming places. The site is characterised by spectacular gorge country and is a haven for wildlife, boab trees and permanent water.

Timms was pivotal in the establishment of Jirrawun Aboriginal Art Corporation in 1998 and, with the help of Tony Oliver, Jirrawun began to market the work of a wide group of Kimberley artists including Paddy Bedford, Hector Jandany, Rusty Peters, Goody Barrett, Phyllis Thomas, and his father's brother Timmy Timms.