Ngarralja Tommy May was born in the Great Sandy Desert. As a youth he was quick to pick up the skills of a stockman. In middle age he was one of the founding members of Karrayili Adult Education Centre and Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency located in Fitzroy Crossing Western Australia. Since the early 1990s his prints and paintings have been exhibited widely. He is now one of the most senior and highly respected members of the Mangkaja Artist group.
The Association of Northern, Kimberley & Arnhem Aboriginal Artists (ANKAAA) officially changed its name to the Arnhem, Northern and Kimberley Artists (ANKA) Aboriginal Corporation in 2016.