Uncle Steven Russell is a Bidjigal drawer, painter and weaver, born at La Perouse Mission on the shores of Botany Bay, Sydney. Hailing from the famous La Parouse Timbery family. Russell’s maternal side has long been associated with visual arts in the Sydney region – his mother, Esme Timbery is an award-winning shellworker. His great great grandmother, “Queen” Emma Timbery had her shellworks displayed in London in 1910. His cousin, Laddie Timbery, was a boomerang and shield maker, his uncle, Joe Timbery, was a champion boomerang thrower who once threw boomerangs as a display for the young Queen Elizabeth during the Royal Tour of 1954 and his grandfather, Hubert Timbery, was born at the “Yaromah” figtree at Figtree (a suburb of Wollongong), NSW. This particular tree is a Timbery family birthing tree and is the subject of a public art mosaic depicting the Yaromah dreaming story at the site of the original tree.
A celebrated artist, Uncle Steven has work held in multiple galleries and collections and exhibits his weavings, drawings and sculptures regularly. Together with his wife Phyllis Stewart; Steven, Phyllis and their daughter Kristine have established Jungah Weavers artists’ collective based in Gerringong, all being master weavers. ‘Jungah’ is an Aboriginal word for octopus and is also used in reference to the police.
His drawings are intricately rendered memories of La Perouse in the 1960s and 1970s and he describes his paintings as “landscape and abstract paintings that depict my country of Botany Bay.”