Turkey Tolson was born under a tree beside a creek bed about eight kilometres east of Haasts Bluff. After years working in the Haasts Bluff stock camp, droving cattle to Mount Leibig he underwent initiation in to manhood and the family moved in to the Papunya settlement where Turkey worked as a construction labourer and in the communal kitchen. In 1961 he married and moved with his young family to an outstation west of Papunya. After his first wife’s untimely death he remarried at Papunya where he lived during the early years of the painting movement. He joined the Papunya Tula artists as one of its youngest members, and painted his earliest artwork for Geoff Bardon in 1972. Other early paintings date from 1973 onwards.