Progress Gallery of the

commissioned by The Wellington Bar & Restaurant
Feltwell, Norfolk

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By artist: Colin Mason

Feltwell's answer to Banksy !

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Aviation runs through the veins of artist Colin Mason of Oxborough, Norfolk. When old enough he joined the ATC, and then when he left school, he joined the RAF. After leaving the RAF and too young to retire, he worked for a couple of civil airlines until he was old enough to retire.

Over those years, he developed his natural talent of sketching and painting in oils and acrylics, exhibiting his work in various galleries in London and overseas. Out of all the commissions he has undertaken, the one that stands out above all others is the montage that he painted for the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund when he was a Battle of Britain artist of the year in 2010. The painting was of a Spitfire and Hurricane flying over Bentley Priory and was a tribute to “Stuffy” Dowding and all those who fought and died to protect this Country in its greatest hour of need. The painting was auctioned in 2010 at the Gala Dinner held in the Guildhall, London for the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain in the presence of His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent and a wonderful group of Battle of Britain pilots who fought and came through those terrible times. It was a memorable evening and a great honour that the painting went for a very large sum. All of the proceeds from the painting was donated to the RAFBF, after being purchased by none other than Piers Dowding himself, who is a direct descendent of “Stuffy” A fabulous honour for the artist and the painting, side by side in his London home.

Although aviation art is his passion, Colin does also paint other subjects that include seascapes, landscapes, and figurative art. Last year he was commissioned to paint a seascape which was presented to the President of the Ocean University in China by the Vice Chancellor of Norwich University. The painting was called The Yacht School and depicted six yachts sailing in the evening sunset, with the reflection of the sun setting colours bouncing off the sea. It was truly a lovely painting and was very well received.

In 2014 Colin and his wife Elizabeth opened the Arts Lounge Gallery in the centre of Swaffham where prints of the painting “Wings Over Bentley Priory” were sold out, but one of only two very special montage prints can be seen. The only two in the world containing the whole story, priceless is what has been told and it can be seen in the Arts Lounge Gallery in Swaffham.

As a professional artist and teacher you can view some of Colin’s work and those of other very talented artists in the gallery. If you wish to learn to paint, come along and enjoy one of his classes and have great fun while you learn.

Colin’s latest commission is to paint a mural on an outside wall measuring approximately 60ft long at The Wellington bar and restaurant in Feltwell, Norfolk. The mural is dedicated to the Wellington Bomber aircraft and crews of 75 Squadron RNZAF who flew from RAF Feltwell. Work started on the wall in June and, subject to weather conditions, will hopefully be completed later this year.

The pub is dedicated to all the crews who flew the Wellington Bombers who operated from the station, and to all those who supported them on the ground in WW11.
“It has been an absolute privilege to have been asked to add to this magnificent collection of aviation artefacts at the pub, by producing a series of full colour paintings depicting various scenes from that long lost time. It would be nice to think that in the future, the Wellington Wall could become part of a heritage trail as there is so much to see.

The story though is about the dedication that Stuart, Christine, Chris and Chris who own and operate this magnificent establishment and how they have transformed the pub into a destination. The Wellington is not only frequented by the English but by our American friends from Feltwell, Lakenheath and Mildenhall, who still ask questions about the airfields from WW11 and the people that worked from them. So whilst the wall will hopefully play its part, it is only a small part in the big picture.
Feltwell’s answer to Banksy is that overnight various pieces of artwork appear as if by magic. Bit by bit the wall starts to come to life. If you fancy a trip out, you can watch it grow by visiting and enjoy seeing the picture come to life. Each week you will see the difference and members of the public are more than welcome to visit The Wellington, enjoy the atmosphere, chat to the artist and watch work in progress.
Elizabeth Mason