Lofty Katakarinja was born at Hermannsburg in July 1960. He attended the misison school before going to Yirara College, a boarding school for indigenous students in Alice Springs. He started work when he was 15 initially in the general store and bakery. Later he worked as a stockman on the mission cattle station. In more recent years he has also worked at the local medical clinic and the school. Lofty took an interest in painting (acrylic on canvas) from about the age of 15. His work often features his dreaming which is the Rainbow Serpent but he aslo paints other dreamtime stories from his country. On occasions he collaborates with his wife Doris Inkamala who is also an accomplished artist. They have 2 sons.