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FREDDIE TIMMS




 
ARTIST PROFILE

FREDDIE TIMMS
Born 1946, Police Hole, Bedford Downs

Freddie Timms (Ngarrmaliny – Janama) lived as a child 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 and Texas Downs and danced and help paint boards for early performances of Thomas’s 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 has not stopped painting since. He paints 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, seeks to make a political statement in his work. He is also unusual in breaking away from the common exploitation by dealers who give Aboriginal artists a small amount of money up-front for each canvas and take the major profit for themselves. 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.

Timms’s work is represented in major collections in Australia and has been shown in galleries in Germany Tokyo, Chicago, Paris, Auckland and Miami.

(Adapted from a text by Frances Kofod. © Jirrawun Arts and Freddie Timms)

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2004 Freddie Timms, Melbourne Art Fair (Gould Galleries)
2003 Freddie Timms, Gould Galleries, Sydney
2002 Freddie Timms, Gould Galleries, Melbourne
1999–2000 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

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2006 Prism: Contemporary Australian Art, Bridgestone Museum of Art, Tokyo
2005 Interesting Times, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Beyond the Frontier, Sherman Galleries, Sydney
2004 Terra Alterius: Land of Another, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, University of New South Wales College of Fine Arts, Sydney
2003 True Stories: Art of the East Kimberley, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Kelly Culture: Reconstructing Ned Kelly, State Library of Victoria, Melbourne
Jirrawun Jazz, Raft Artspace, Darwin
2002 Blood on the Spinifex, The Ian Potter Museum of Art, The University of Melbourne
Rhapsodies in Country, GrantPirrie at Art Miami, US
Jirrawun Artists, William Mora Galleries, Melbourne
2001 Four Men, Four Paintings, Raft Artspace Darwin
Ochre, Short Street Gallery, Broome
A Century of Collecting 1901–2001, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Sydney
The Eighteenth National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
2000 Land Mark: Mirror Mark: Mal Nairn Auditorium, Northern Territory University, Darwin; Columbus State University, Georgia, US; the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, US; ANU Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra
The Seventeenth National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
Opening 2000, William Mora Galleries, Melbourne
From Appreciation to Appropriation: Indigenous Influenecs and Images in Australian Visual Art, Flinders University Art Museum City Gallery, Adelaide
1999–2000 Summer Exhibition, Watters Gallery, Sydney
Mapping Our Countries, Djamu Gallery, Australian Museum, Sydney
1999 Painting Country, William Mora Galleries, Melbourne
My Country, Northern Territory University Gallery, Darwin
The Sixteenth National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
1998–99A Thousand journeys: Aboriginal Art from North Western Australia, Tin Sheds, Sydney, touring regional galleries in Tamworth, Newcastle, Albury, Mornington Peninsula, Ballarat, Mildura
1998 The Laverty Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Freddie Timms, Ken Whisson: Landscape Paintings, Watters Gallery, Sydney
Jirrawun Aboriginal Artists, Martin Browne Fine Art, Sydney
Jirrawun Artists from Crocodile Hole, Jemma Stowe, Perth
Summer Exhibition No 13, Watters Gallery, Sydney
1997 Summer Exhibition, Watters Gallery, Sydney
Pallingjang-Saltwater, Wollongong City Gallery, Wollongong
1996 Art Chicago, Chicago, US
Galerie Baudoin Lebon, Paris
FIAC, Paris
Utopia Art, Sydney
1995 Turkey Creek Artists, William Mora Galleries, Melbourne
1993 Images of Power: Aboriginal Art of the Kimberley 1993–94, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
ARATJARRA: Art of the First Australians, Kunstammlung Nordtheim-Westfalen, Köln, Dusseldorf, Germany; Hayward Gallery London; Louisiana Museum; Humlebaek, Denmark
1992 The Ninth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
1991 Hogarth Galleries, Sydney
Lindsay Street Gallery, Darwin
The Eighth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
1990 The Seventh National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
Dreamtime Gallery, Perth
1989 Turkey Creek Recent Work, Deutscher, Gertrude Street, Melbourne

COLLECTIONS
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Art Gallery of Western Australia
Art Gallery of South Australia
Art Gallery of New South Wales
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Artbank Sydney
Wollongong City Gallery
Holmes à Court Collection, Perth
Laverty Collection
Aboriginal Art Museum, Utrecht, The Netherlands

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Allen, Christopher, ‘Deceptive image of truth’, Sydney Morning Herald, 5 April 1991, p. 44
Bowdler, C., ‘Looking forward looking back in the East Kimberley’ Artlink, vol. 25, no. 2
Boyd, C., ‘Colonising the colonisers’, Financial Review, 21 November 2003, p. 35
Bonyhady, Tim, ‘The rest is history’, Spectrum, Sydney Morning Herald, 21 July 2001, p. 6
Clabburn, Anna, ‘Potent images bear witness to past horrors’, Australian, 20 December 2002, p. 4
Corfield, J., ‘The Ned Kelly Encyclopedia’, Lothian Books, Melbourne, 2003
Crawford, A., ‘Black light, black heat’, Bulletin 10 December 2002, pp. 78–79
Eccles, Jeremy, ‘New frontiers for Indigenous art: Jirrawun Arts, East Kimberley’ Art Monthly Australia, no. 178, 2005, pp. 22–24.
Fire, Fire, Burning Bright. Marnem. Marnem Dililib Benuwarrenji, Jirrawun Aboriginal Art Corporation, Kununurra, 2002
Georgeff, Simon, ‘Drawing the line’, Sunday Age, 23 August 1998, p. 16s
Grishin, Sasha, ‘High marks for inspired work, Canberra Times Panorama, 1 July 2000
Hutchings, Patrick, ‘Backwards into the fire’, Australian Art Review, no.1 2003, p. 55.
Ingram, Terry, ‘Red-dot art all round from Kimberley mob’, Australian Financial Review, 31 March 2005, p. 45.
Ingram, Terry, ‘Getting close to the bones’ Australian Financial Review, 7 October 2004, p. 52
James, Bruce, ‘The politics of envy’, Spectrum, Sydney Morning Herald, 15 April 2000, p. 14
Jopson, D., ‘Landscapes in blood’, Sydney Morning Herald, 14–15 December 2002, p. 27
Jopson, D., ‘Blood-red killing fields translated from word to canvas’, Age, 14 December 2002, p. 14
Kofod, Frances, ‘Freddie Timms’ in S Kleinert & M Neale (eds), The Oxford Companion to Aboriginal Art and Culture, Oxford University Press, 2000, pp. 715–16
Kofod, Frances, ‘Blood on the Spinifex’ The World of Antiques and Art, February 2003, p. 193
Marx, Eric, ‘For Aboriginal artists, western Ideas and techniques from a city maverick’, New York Times, 1 June 2005, p. E3
McDonald, John, ‘Painting dead? The picture’s not so bleak’, Sydney Morning Herald, 18 July 1998
Morgan, C., ‘Menace and beauty in tale of dark days’, Sydney Morning Herald, 6 April 2005, p. 5
Nelson, Robert, ‘Aboriginal tribal art tells a hard story’, Age, 18 January, 2003, p. 33
Neales, S., ‘Vibrant images from an arid zone’, Age, 16 November 1995, p. 19
Oliver, Tony, Rhapsodies in Country, GrantPirrie, 2002
Oliver, Tony, Langton, Marcia & Kofod, Frances, Blood on the Spinifex, exhibition catalogue, The Ian Potter Museum of Art, The University of Melbourne, 2002
Pheasant, W., ‘Grim days are lifting for Aboriginal artists’, Financial Review, 18 July 2003, p. 81
Pheasant, W., ‘Miner gives voice to Aboriginal tragedy’, Financial Review, 19 October 2002, p. 14
Porter, J., ‘Sauce’, Sydney Morning Herald, 9 April 2005, p. 26
Ross, H. (ed.), ‘Impact stories of the East Kimberley’, East Kimberley Impact Assessment Project, East Kimberley Working Paper No 28, Centre for Environment and Natural Resources, Australian National University, Canberra, 1989
Rothwell, Nicholas, ‘Beyond the Boab’ Weekend Australian Review 19–20 April 2003
Rothwell, Nicholas, ‘Beyond the frontier’, catalogue essay, Sherman Galleries, Sydney, 2005
Ryan, Judith, Images of Power: Aboriginal Art of the Kimberley, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1993
Simpson, P., ‘Strikingly unusual Aboriginal view’, Sunday Star Times, New Zealand, 16 January 2000
Smee, Sebastian, ‘For the tension seeker’, Weekend Australian, 15 October 2005, p. 18
Taylor, R., ‘Blood on the Spinifex’, Art Monthly Australia, no. 159, May 2003, pp. 28–31
Waterlow, Nicholas, A Century of Collecting 1901–2001, College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Sydney, 2001
Watson, K., True Stories: Art of the East Kimberley, exhibition catalogue, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2003.

TV DOCUMENTARIES
ABC TV, Art From the Heart, produced by Richard Moore & Jeremy Eccles, 25 May 1999

DVD
Art Gallery of New South Wales,True Stories: Artists of the East Kimberley, 2004
TOPTOP
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