Thomas Tjapaltjarri is brother to Walala and Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri, both are painters of international acclaim. Thomas’ paintings are in a classical Tingari style usually reserved for body painting, ground painting and the decoration of traditional artefacts.
In late 1984, Thomas and his brothers Walala and Warlimpirrnga and several other members of the Pintupi Tribe walked out of the remote wilderness of the Gibson Desert in Western Australia and made contact for the first time with European society. Three years later, along with his elder brothers Warlimpirrnga and Walala, he began painting for the Papunya Tula Artists.
Described as 'The Lost Tribe', he and his family created international headlines. Until that day in 1984, Thomas and his family lived the traditional and nomadic life of a hunter-gatherer society. Their intimate knowledge of the land, its flora and fauna and waterholes allowed them to survive, as their ancestors had for thousands of years.