Joseph Jurra Tjapaltjarri was born in approximately 1952 at Kiwirrkura. He was brought with his family to Papunya in 1964, after being sighted by a welfare patrol. Joseph Jurra commenced painting in 1986, at Walungurru where he lived with his wife and children, and then for Papunya Tula Artists in 1987.
Joseph Jurra has exhibited widely including in the United States of America, Mexico, Italy, New Zealand, Japan, Switzerland, and The Netherlands. In 1997 he and Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula travelled to Paris in 1997 to create a sandpainting in conjunction with the exhibition Peintres Aborigines d’Australie at the Establissement Public du Parc de la Grand Halle de la Villette. He was included in the exhibition Papunya Tula: Genesis and Genius at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 2000, and exhibited in 2003 in Aborigena at Monash University at Prato, Italy, and Mythology and Reality, Jerusalem Centre for the Performing Arts, Jerusalem, Israel.
He is represented in the Collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, United States of America; the Kelton Foundation, Los Angeles, United States of America; the Groninger Museum, Groningen, The Netherlands; the Auckland City Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand; the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth.