In Halls Creek, well known Gija senior aboriginal artist Mr Timms has unexpectedly passed away bringing an end to one of the Kimberley’s longest and most prestigious art careers

Mr Timms was a founding member and Chairman of Jirrawun Arts, a respected and highly sought after painter and long term ANKA Board Member. In more recent years he was a senior artist at Warrmun Art Centre.

His works highlight features of the Australian landscape; black soil, red ground, sandy ground, hills, creeks and water holes as well as the man-made marks of roads, stock yards and homesteads and importantly, Dream time places imbued with social and spiritual significance

Mr Timms was one of the few Aboriginal artists from a traditional background who, on occasion, seeked to make a political statement in his work this is evident in his work Whitefella – Blackfella, at the National Gallery of Australia. In a large black canvas, four symbolic figures are strategically placed with the ‘whitefella’ at the top, the ‘yellow Chinaman’ under that, then the African, then the ‘blackfella right down at the bottom’

During his career, he was involved in developing the early relationship between Indigenous artists and the Australian art market that helped forge stronger and fairer links with galleries and dealers

Mr Timms was one of the first artists to call out ‘carpet bagging’ – breaking away from the common exploitation by dealers in the art industry who take advantage of Aboriginal artists by giving a small amount of money up front and taking the majority of the profit for themselves.

He was also a central figure in the establishment of Jirrawun Aboriginal Art Corporation in 2000. Freddie’s work is represented in major collections in Australia and he has exhibited in Germany, Japan, France, USA and New Zealand