Tjapanangka was born circa 1930 near Lake MacDonald on the Northern Territory - Western Australia border.
After travelling from his home country at Lupal‚ to the Papunya region, Long Tom got work as a stockman and police tracker; here he worked and lived for many years. It was in this Papunya/Hassts Bluff region that he was to spend most of his time, except for a small time spent in the Port Augusta prison.
The establishment of Hassts Bluff as a cattle station in 1954 meant that Long Tom would find work as a stockman, the area was well known to Long Tom because as a prisoner, he helped to build fences around the land surrounding Hassts Bluff. Like many others who had come in from the desert and had traditional hunting skills, Long Tom was recruited to assist the police force.
After a spell doing this, he then returned to Hassts Bluff to be reunited with his wife and return to the work that he most enjoyed, that of a stockman. 
Today he has two wives, Marlee Napurrula and Mitjili Napurrula, and has two children with Marlee. In the early days they would move about the country a lot, but have settled down since they started painting at about the end of 1993.
Long Tom is a good man with a good sense of humour, enthusiasm and fresh new ideas.

Text taken from Steve McGrath

 

BIOGRAPHY

1930 Born around Lupul, Frederick Range. Pintupi / Ngaatjatjarra 
Started painting at the end of 1993
Long Tom worked as a police tracker for many years in the Papunya region. He has two wives, Marlee Napurrula and Mitjili Napurrula. He has two children with Marlee, Ena Lane and Freddie Fly

Solo Exhibitions
1998 Long Tom Tjapanangka, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne 
Long Tom Tjapanangka, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne 
1995 Long Tom Tjapanangka, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne 
Long Tom Tjapanangka, Schubert Gallery, Queensland

Group Exhibitions
1999 The Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Awards, Museum & 
Art Gallery of Northern Territory, Darwin 
1998 Aussie Express, Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea 
Ikuntji Artists from Haasts Bluff, Galerie Dusseldorf, WA 
Heritage Art Award, Canberra 
1997 Ikuntji Tjuta in Adelaide, Gallery Australis, Adelaide 
Ikuntji Tjuta in Canberra, Alliance Francaise 
Innenseite/ Inside Kassel, Gottingen Germany 
Dreamings Aboriginal kunst uit Australie The Netherlands 
International Works on Paper Fair, Sydney 
14th National Aboriginal Art Award and touring exhibition 
Desert Art Mob Show, Araluen, Northern Territory 
1996 Contemporary Territory, MAGNT, Darwin 
Heritage Art Award, Canberra 
Adelaide Fringe Festival Exhibition, Gallerie Australis, SA 
Adelaide Fringe Festival Desart Exhibition, SA 
1995 Desert Painting 1974 - 1994, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney 
The Bougainville Festival of Darwin Art Exhibition, NT 
Ikuntji: New Art from the Western Desert, (book launch), Framed Gallery, Darwin
NT 
1995 Works on Paper, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney 
Telstra National Aboriginal Art Award, Museum & Art Gallery of Northern 
Territory, Darwin 
Paintings from Haasts Bluff, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney 
Paintings from Haasts Bluff, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney 
1994 Ikuntji Artists from Haasts Bluff, Hogarth, Sydney 
Ikuntji: Paintings from Haasts Bluff 1992-1994, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi,
Melbourne 
Perpetual Motion, Tandanya, Adelaide 
National Aboriginal Art Award, Darwin 
Northern Territory Art Award, Alice Springs 
Alice Prize, Alice Springs 
Heritage Art Award, Canberra ACT

Awards
1999 (First Prize) The Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Awards 
1996 (Highly Commended) The Third National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander 
Heritage Art Award: (Acquired) Alice Prize

Collections
National Gallery of Australia, ACT 
Art Gallery of Tasmania 
Art Gallery of South Australia 
Northern Territory University 
Tullamarine Airport, Melbourne 
Museum and Art Gallery of NT 
Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs 
Private collections

Publications
Catalogues & Books: 
IKUNTJI: Paintings from Haasts Bluff 1992 - 94, IAD Press, Alice Springs, 1995 
Telstra 12th NATSIAA, Catalogue, 1995 
Telstra 13th NATSIAA, Catalogue, 1996 
Telstra 16th NATSIAA, Catalogue, 1999
Dreamings of the Desert: Aboriginal Dot Paintings, S.A. Art Gallery, 1996 
Isaacs, J Spirit Country: Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art, 1999, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, USA 
Articles: 
‘Long Tom blooms’, The Age , 21/9/99 
‘Fresh wave in indigenous painting’, The Australian, 24/9/99, p.12 
Generation, a journal of Jewish life (Vol.5 No. 4, 1996) 
Art and Australia, Volume 35, number 1, September 1997 
‘Abstraction, Meaning and Essence in Aboriginal Art’, Judith Ryan 
Gallery, National Gallery Society of Victoria Magazine (9/96)