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Freddie Timms

35 Career Overall Rank

58 2016 Market Rank

  • Born: 1944
  • Active: 1986

  • Region: Kimberley, WA
  • Community: Turkey Creek (Warmun)
  • Language: Gidja

Freddie Timm’s work first appeared at auction as early as 1995 when the sole work on offer measuring 60 x 80 cm with Warringari Arts provenance sold at at Sotheby's for just $1,840. It would be worth at least ten times that amount today. By the end of 2001 however, no less than 23 works had been offered of which 21 had sold at an average price of $5,140. While his clearance rate may have dropped from this high water mark of 91% to the still very respectable 72% it is today, his average price has doubled to $10,113 and is set to continue rising, given he is now statistically the 35th most successful of all living artists.

Interestingly, source provenance appears to mean little in determining the value of secondary market sales for works by Freddie Timms. Nor does the period in which works were painted and whether acrylic, powder pigment or natural earth ochres were used as the medium. Size is the major price determinant, along with the aesthetics of the image itself. Those works with a crisp clean contemporary look that achieve harmony and balance through a combination of shape and colour have sold successfully, while those in which bright contrasting colours combine with an unbalanced composition seem to fare badly.

The average price of his major paintings at auction (larger than 180 x 200 cm) is around $31,000, works in the mid range have sold for an average of only $8,500 (approx 180 x 120 cm) and smaller works average just $5,500. This is without doubt due to the fact that the artist is still currently active. However his major pieces have tended to sell for up to 50% below his current primary market prices and this more than anything else would have dictated his high clearance rate at auction.

Despite this, the artist’s third highest price was achieved by Mandangala, North Turkey Creek 1990 a work produced for Waringarri Arts measuring just 120 x 160 cm. This wonderful painting sold within the estimate range of $40,000-60,000 at $52,200 in Sotheby’s July 2005 auction (Lot  45). It was however eclipsed the following year when My Country 1996  a work produced for Kimberley Art in Melbourne and comprising five 120 x 240 cm panels executed in the artist’s more contemporary style, sold  for $66,000 against a pre-sale estimate of $80,000-100,000 in Lawson~Menzies Sydney November sale (Lot 55A). Another work in the artist’s contemporary style created for Kimberley Art had sold two years earlier and held the record at that time. Titled Lake Argyle Triptych 1996 and measuring a whopping 180 x 360 cm it realised its mid estimate in Lawson-Menzies May 2005 auction (Lot 47). Yet in 2010 a new second place record was established for a work in the more traditional style and palette, with the sale of Top Country 1996 at Mossgreen in August for $53,479 (Lot 39). This confirms that neither period nor aesthetic style is clearly preferred. 

Lawson~Menzies have in fact championed Freddie Timm’s work and their records almost mirror those of Sotheby’s whilst Deutscher & Hackett have been rapidly catching the two leaders during the post GST period.

Timm’s has created a number of limited edition prints during the last 15 years and these have sold for little more than their initial primary market retail price. His highest price for a print was set in 2007 when a serigraph (7/25) titled Lissadell Station 1996 estimated at $1,000-1,500 sold for $960 in Lawson~Menzies May 2005 sale (Lot 148). His record for an original painting on paper is $10,800 which was set in 2007 at Lawson~Menzies.

Average prices paid for paintings by Freddie Timms remained around the $5,000-6,000 level between 1998 and 2002. However since 2003 there has been a steady rise with all of the artists 20 highest results having been recorded since that time. Although only four of the eight works offered in 2002 sold, he has been a far better performer since that time with 87 of the 117 works offered between 2003 and 2010 being successful resulting in a 74% clearance rate. Between 2011 and 2015 tyhis fell to 63% with 38 of 60 having sold. This is likely to have been due to the release of more appealing works that were commissioned by Kimberley art through auction houses such as Lawson~Menzies prior to 2009 including  three of the artists ten best results and eight of his best twenty. This began to lower from 2009 onward when a broader range of auction houses began to represent Timms. Eight of Timm's highest 20 prices have been established since 2010 though 2015 proved a flat year for the artist with a heafty 21 works offered for sale of which 13 found new homes though none recorded a toip 10 price.

Overall works by Freddie Timms have steadily improved in value and while they are unlikely to escalate rapidly into the future, this artist continues to produce works of great integrity and interest. He is now the most important artist working in the East Kimberley. With the demise of Jirruwun arts however, Timms is no longer promoted professionally or shown in good galleries. Regardless, his work will endure and steadily gain in status over time.

Freddie Timms - My Country, 1996

My Country, 1996
Sold by Lawson~Menzies, Sydney on 22/11/2006 for $66,000.00
Size: Each: 91 x 102 cm

Freddie Timms - Fish Hole 1997

Fish Hole 1997
Sold by Mossgreen Auctions, Melbourne on 08/04/2008 for $33,460.00
Size: 180 x 230 cm

Freddie Timms - Red Butt (Texas Station)

Red Butt (Texas Station)
Sold by Sotheby's, Sydney on 25/11/2007 for $26,400.00
Size: 180.5 x 230 cm

Freddie Timms began painting in 1986, inspired by the elder artists already painting at Frog Hollow, a small outstation attached to the community at Warmun, Turkey Creek. He was by then, forty-two years old and had lived an eventful life as a young stockman on stations throughout the East Kimberley region. Freddy was born at Police Hole in 1946 and followed in his father’s footsteps, becoming a stockman at Lissadell Station. At the age of twenty, he set out to explore and work on other stations. It was during this time that he met and worked alongside Rover Thomas who was to have a lasting influence on him. In 1985, he left Lissadell, to which he had returned after the physically demanding stockman’s life, to settle at the new community established at Warmun where he worked as a gardener at the Argyle Mine. He eventually moved out to Frog Hollow with his wife Berylene Mung and their four children and took a job as an environmental health worker, assuming responsibility for the general maintenance of the small community. While in the company of elder artists such as Rover Thomas and Hector Jandanay, who were already painting and achieving notoriety at this time, Timms requested art materials from Joel Smoker, the first art coordinator at Waringarri Arts in Kununurra. Smoker visited the community on a regular basis and recognized Freddy’s potential in his first distinctive canvasses and confident grasp of the medium.

In a career that has spanned more than 20 years, Freddy Timms has become known for aerial map-like visions of country that are less concerned with ancestral associations as with tracing the responses and refuges of the Gidja people as they encountered the ruthlessness and  brutality of colonisation. However, his political nature is characterized by more intimate interpretations of the experience rather than overtly political statements. His first exhibition held at Deutscher Gertrude Street Gallery in Melbourne in 1989 was received with critical acclaim and included a superb masterpiece Mandangala, North Turkey Creek 1990. In what appeared as a new and beautiful sense of irregular geometry, soft yet boldly defined blocks of colour depicted the area of Glen Hill and the Argyle Diamond Mine to the north of Turkey Creek. The fact that it now lay beneath water, having been flooded by the damming of the Ord River, made the work all the more poignant. There had been no consultation with the traditional Gidja owners. The places where he and his countrymen used to walk and camp, along with all its ancestral burial grounds and sacred places, were simply buried beneath the rising waters.

This underlying political dimension has remained implicit in Freddy Timm’s work throughout a career which has been punctuated by a number of politically explicit works. Another, Whitefella-Blackfella, acquired by the National Gallery of Australia, overtly states the position of Aboriginal people in Australian society, placing ‘whitefella’ figures at the top, beneath which are painted Chinamen, then African and then finally 'blackfella right down at the bottom'.   

By the mid 1990’s Freddy had become a seasoned exhibitor having traveled to Melbourne once more to accompany and paint with Rover Thomas. He painted a large body of works for Kimberley Art Gallery through its association with the Warmun Community, including two works which currently hold the artist’s highest and third highest prices at auction. Both employ a broader, more colourful palette than the natural earth pigments widely adopted by other East Kimberley artists. This development in his work was widely perceived as a move away from traditional practice and was attributed, at the time, to the influence of Frank Waters, to whom the artist had been introduced by his mutual friend, Tony Oliver. Watters was widely reported as being concerned that Aboriginal artist’s be treated on equal terms as non-aboriginal artists and set about steadily building the value of his works as well as his public profile. His solo exhibition with Watter’s Gallery in 1999 explored the history of an Indigenous bushranger named Major who was shot by police in 1908, after killing whites at Blackfeller Creek. Major holds a strong place in Gidja history, much like Ned Kelly, but remains an ambiguous hero, as his knowledge of the bush reputedly led white men to Gidja camps for the purpose of genocide. Timm’s depiction of Major was influenced by his visit to an exhibition of Sydney Nolan’s Ned Kelly series, evident in the squarish shape he gave to Major’s head. Timms eventually left Frank Watters and after a moderately successful show with Goold Gallery, left Sydney for Crocodile Hole to establish, with Oliver’s help, the Jirrawun Aboriginal Art Corporation. Having firmly established his reputation in the wider art world he has produced works of consistently high quality since that time. Although he has yet to achieve a similar level of acclaim to that of the founders of the East Kimberley movement Freddy Timms is foremost amongst those artists of the second generation. His is a unique Gidja perspective on the history of white interaction with his people. It is hard to think of another who expresses more poignantly through their art the sense of longing and the abiding loss that comes from the separation from the land that embodies one’s spiritual home.

Profile References

Kofod, Francis. ?. Freddie Timms. Australia. Jirrawan Aborginal Artists Corporation.
Ryan, Judith. 1993. Images of Power, Aboriginal Art of the Kimberley. Melbourne. National Gallery of Victoria.

Freddie Timms - Lisadell Station, 1995

Lisadell Station, 1995
Sold by Lawson~Menzies, Sydney on 09/11/2005 for $24,000.00
Size: 193 x 243 cm

Freddie Timms - Lake Argyle Triptych, 1996

Lake Argyle Triptych, 1996
Sold by Lawson~Menzies, Sydney on 31/05/2005 for $34,800.00
Size: 180 x 120 cm

Freddie Timms - Mandangala, North Turkey Creek 1990

Mandangala, North Turkey Creek 1990
Sold by Sotheby's, Melbourne on 25/07/2005 for $52,200.00
Size: 160 x 120 cm

Sites

Argyle Diamond Mine , Bow River , Bedford Downs (Jirrawal Country), Red Butt (Texas Downs), Lake Kununurra, Bulunyin Country, Barungi Country, Crocodile Hole (Rugan), Coonlu Conuntry, Clara Springs, Ashburton Ranges, Lissadel Station

Subjects

Lake Argyle/Ord River

Medium

Printmaking, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen and Canvas, Works on Paper, Ochres on Linen and Canvas

Regional Map

Note: This map is a representation and not accurate. Some sites are sacred and therefore not shown.

Market Performance

Career Totals

AIAM100 Rank
35
AIAM100 Rating
4.2320
Sold/Offered
152/212
Clearance Rate
72%
Average Price
$10,106
Total Price
$1,536,175
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
0.4637 0.3058 0.2985 0.5467 1.5313 1.7665 1.1665 1.1112 1.2385 1.0143 1.4161 0.4225 0.2699 0.6404 0.7637 0.9807 0.2969
6/6 4/4 4/8 5/6 15/20 15/18 9/12 9/12 11/15 11/19 12/15 6/13 4/6 7/11 7/9 13/21 3/4
$5,973 $5,846 $5,568 $11,953 $10,422 $13,869 $16,800 $15,245 $12,677 $8,503 $13,926 $4,958 $4,554 $8,370 $11,904 $5,691 $9,797
Yearly Market Performance Graph from 2000 - 2016

Top 10 Artworks Sold at Auction

1

My Country, 1996

sale price: $66,000.00
auction: Lawson~Menzies, Sydney  lot: 55A date: 22/11/2006
Each: 91 x 102 cm Synthetic polymer paint on composition board, five panels
2

Top Country 1996

sale price: $53,749.00
auction: Mossgreen Auctions, Sydney  lot: 39 date: 30/08/2010
91 x 121 cm Natural earth pigments on canvas
3

Mandangala, North Turkey Creek 1990

sale price: $52,200.00
auction: Sotheby's, Melbourne  lot: 45 date: 25/07/2005
160 x 120 cm Natural earth pigments and synthetic binder on canvas
4

Crocodile Hole, 2005

sale price: $42,000.00
auction: Deutscher and Hackett , Melbourne  lot: 14 date: 26/03/2014
Diptych: 180 x 300 c Natural earth pigments and synthetic binder on two canvas panels
5

Lake Argyle Triptych, 1996

sale price: $34,800.00
auction: Lawson~Menzies, Sydney  lot: 47 date: 31/05/2005
180 x 120 cm Synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 3 panels
6

Lake Argyle Country 1997

sale price: $34,575.00
auction: Sotheby's, Melbourne  lot: 220 date: 26/07/2004
91 x 242 cm Synthetic polymer paint on canvas
7

Fish Hole 1997

sale price: $33,460.00
auction: Mossgreen Auctions, Melbourne  lot: 17 date: 08/04/2008
180 x 230 cm Acrylic on canvas
8

Red Butt (Texas Station)

sale price: $26,400.00
auction: Sotheby's, Sydney  lot: 83 date: 25/11/2007
180.5 x 230 cm Synthetic polymer paint on canvas
9

Red Butt (Texas Station)

sale price: $26,290.00
auction: Christies, Sydney  lot: 22 date: 30/11/2004
180.5 x 230 cm Acrylic on canvas
10

Scrub Creek (Bow River), 1996

sale price: $25,094.51
auction: Mossgreen Auctions, Melbourne  lot: 29 date: 14/08/2007
180 x 120 cm Ochre, charcoal and clay, with acrylic binders, on Belgian linen

Available Artworks

Moat Creek Yard by Freddie Timms
#16010
Moat Creek Yard - 2007
Freddie Timms 11

122.0 x 135.0 cm
#16010 LOCATION: Paddington
$POA

Untitled by Freddie Timms
#16114
Untitled - 2007
Freddie Timms 11

95.0 x 180.0 cm
#16114 LOCATION: Paddington
$POA