Marlene was born in Papunya in 1971. Her father was Tommy Lowry Tjapaltjarri and her adopted father is Takata (Doctor) George Tjapaltjarri. Marlene has lived in Warakurna and Docker River where she went to school. She also lived in Kintore where she had a daughter to her husband Adrian Young Tjupurrula (dec).
She now lives in Tjukurla with her late husband's family. Marlene's main Tjukurrpa stories include important women's dreamings and the body paint associated with them. Marlene's use of bright colours is one of her trademarks coupled with thick layered paint that is typical of work from the Western Desert.