Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri was born at Napperby Station, Central Australia, where he spent most of his early life as a stockman, later settling at Papunya. He was among the first of the Papunya Tula artists and played a leading role as spokesman for the painting enterprise. His work featured in the 1976 BBC documentary Desert Dreamers, and has been shown in both national and international exhibitions. In 1980, with the help of Clifford Possum, he painted Napperby Death Spirit Dreaming, chosen as the centrepiece for Dreamings: Art of Aboriginal Australia, which toured the USA in 1988-1989. This painting, seven metres in length, is considered to be one of the greatest works of the Papunya School of paintings. It is said that his personal sorrow at the loss of the traditional way of life was reflected in his paintings, which were often sombre in nature.