Press ‘play’ above to hear the conversation  and scroll down to see the paintings


Reg Mombassa, also known as Chris O’Doherty, has been exhibiting his paintings and drawings at Sydney’s Watters Gallery, nationally and internationally for over 40 years. In 2007 there was a major survey of his work at the SH Ervin Gallery in Sydney.

He is also one of the leaders of a group of artists which created designs for the Mambo surf clothing label in the 80s and 90s.  A recent documentary aired on the ABC in Australia looked at those artists and their influential and anti authoritatrian approach.

But of course Mombassa is renowned not only as an artist but also a musician. In 1976 he founded the iconic Australian band Mental as Anything with fellow art student Martin Plaza and in 1990 he formed his band Dog Trumpet with his brother Peter O’Doherty. The music in the introduction to this episode is from the song ‘Made in the World’ from their album Medicated Spirits.

Mombassa has also had a creative input into major public events such as the Sydney Olympics closing ceremony and Sydney New Year’s Eve celebrations and has won awards for his poster and album cover works.

His paintings are held in ­major Australian art institutions including the National Portrait Gallery and the Art Gallery of NSW.


Upcoming shows and events

Links to people and things we talk about in the show



‘Australian Jesus helps Noah with his Ark’ (2009) charcoal and colour pencil on paper, 36cm x 56cm


Poster, ‘Mambo Faith/ Australian Jesus at the football’ (1996)


‘Organism/Field shrine, east Auckland’ (1991), house paint and oil on board, 28cm 25cm


‘Looking north from the lodge at Waiheke heights’ (2014), charcoal and coloured pencil on paper, 25cm x 36cm


‘Self portrait with high pants’, oil on canvas, 90cm x 70cm (2007)


‘Self Portrait with Spots and Veins’ (2003), synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 76cm x 56cm National Portrait Gallery

Artist : Chris O'Doherty (Australia, b.1951) Title : Date : 1986 Medium Description: oil on copper plate Dimensions : Credit Line : Gift of Patrick White 1986 Image Credit Line : Accession Number : 264.1986

‘Self portrait with a lumpy coat’ (1986) oil on copperplate, Art Gallery of NSW


‘Two young persons in a modern interior’ (1974) Synthetic polymer paint on hardboard 71cm x 55.5cm Art Gallery of NSW


'Rough barked apple tree, Gumboil'(2004) colour pencil and charcoal on paper

‘Rough barked apple tree, Gumboil'(2004) coloured pencil and charcoal on paper



‘Gums and patchy bark, Willow Springs’ (2008) charcoal and coloured pencil on paper 35cm x 50cm

Iron bark with bole and bush Cassilus

‘Iron bark with bole and bush Cassilis’ (2011) charcoal and colour pencil on paper, 38cm x 46cm