Debra and Reg Mason, with children from the local Aboriginal community, at the Oenpelli Springs in 1994.
ABOUT MASON GALLERY
In September 1982, Reg and Debra Mason and their family, went into Arnhem Land for work. Shortly after their arrival, the local Aboriginal population of the Oenpelli area approached Reg to buy their paintings. Reg did so for some time, but the quantity of work became so great that he found it necessary to market some of the collection – and the Arnhem Land Art Gallery was born. Over the next few years, Reg became the largest dealer of work from the Western Arnhem Land area, and the family lived in the region for 20 years. His children grew up with the local community, and the family were widely recognised as being culturally acceptable by the local clans.
Major galleries around the country were supplied with artworks, and many of the pieces that now hang in the Museums and Public Art Galleries around Australia and internationally had their origins with Arnhem Land Art.
In 1997, the Arnhem Land Art Gallery was opened in Darwin by Vicki Mason, Reg and Debra’s daughter, to provide a retail outlet for the major works coming out of Arnhem Land. While the gallery was successful, many people also wanted to purchase works from the Central regions of Australia, and the name of the gallery was changed to Mason Gallery. Reg and Debra’s son, Tony, moved to Alice Springs in 2001, where he now sources the works from Central Australia.
The Mason Gallery displays works by many of the major artists from the Western Desert, Utopia Eastern Desert, Arnhem Land and the Top End. It is the ambition of the gallery to become a provider of quality works from these regions.
With great sadness, Reg Mason passed away in December 2006. Debra, Tony and Vicki maintain the reputation of presenting high quality Aboriginal Art, and Reg’s ambition has gradually, but undeniably, taken shape.