Tam Joseph was born on the Caribbean island of Dominica and immigrated to England in 1955 at the age of eight. He studied at the Central School of Art and Design and then at the Slade School of Fine Art, afterwards working on 'Yellow Submarine', the animated film featuring the Beatles. During the 1960s-70s, he travelled in Europe and the Far East, then studied typography at the London College of Printing. He worked for the magazine 'Africa Journal' in the late 1970s and early 1980s, also travelling extensively in Africa. In 1979 he illustrated the children's book 'Titch the Cat' by Buchi Emecheta. His works include 'UK School Report' (1980), depicting the passage of a Black youth through the British education system in three portraits captioned: 'Good at sports', 'Likes music' and 'Needs surveillance', and 'Spirit of the Carnival' (1982), referencing the uneasy relationship that existed between Black communities and the police in Britain during the early 1980s, particularly at the annual Notting Hill Carnival, which was purchased for Wolverhampton Art Gallery in 2016 with the assistance of a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

Tam Joseph has exhibited extensively in group shows in the UK, including 'No Colour Bar: Black British Art in Action 1960–1990' at the Guildhall Art Gallery, London in 2015, as well as in France, the USA and Senegal. His work is in collections including the Arts Council, Bradford Museums and Galleries, Glasgow Museums Resource Centre, Museums Sheffield and Wolverhampton Art Gallery. He lives in London and Nimes, France. A retrospective exhibition of his works entitled 'Evolution - Tam Joseph Paintings' is currently at display in the Felix & Spear Gallery, London until 1 November 2020.