Pat Brassington is one of Australia’s most significant and influential artists working in photo-media. With a career spanning four decades, Brassington has become well known for her incisive ability to infuse the familiar with the fantastic. Her practice is informed by an interest in surrealism, feminism and psychoanalysis.
Seemingly innocent, her enigmatic photomontages open up like a flower, gorgeous and suggestive, then morph into a psychological Rorschach. In her work the endless possibilities of our complex inner states - narratives of sex, memory and identity - run quietly rampant.
Pat has said of her most recent works:
‘I aim to pitch my images just off the verge of normality, into those dense patches where the commonplace goes awry.’
Her images are at once charming and menacing. They rouse a sense of disquiet as they subtly and humorously scratch at the underbelly of the human condition. In her unique way, Brassington is able to present haunting, dream-like images which lead the viewer to the edges of the imagination.
In 2016 Brassington won the Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize and in 2013 she was the recipient of the prestigious Monash Gallery of Art Bowness Photography Prize. A major survey exhibition, Pat Brassington: A Rebours, was held at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne in 2012 and toured Australia and New Zealand until 2016. Brassington’s work has also featured extensively in major exhibitions, including Lurid Beauty: Australian Surrealism and its Echoes at the National Gallery of Victoria (2016); NEW13 at the University of Queensland Art Museum (2013); the Adelaide Biennial: Parallel Colisions (2012); Feminism Never Happened at the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2010); the Biennale of Sydney (2004); World Without End - Photography and the 20th Century at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (2000) and Fotokunst Aus Australien, Berlin (2000), curated by Bernice Murphy.
Selected solo exhibitions include: Pat Brassington at Ten Cubed, Melbourne (2014); In Search of the Marvellous at CAST Gallery, Hobart (2013); a survey exhibition at the Lonnstrom Art Museum, Finland (2008); Pat Brassington at the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2007); a major solo retrospective at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne (2002) and Gentle at Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2001).
Pat Brassington’s work is held in many public collections including the Art Gallery of New South Wales; Queensland Art Gallery; National Gallery of Australia; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; National Gallery of Victoria; Art Gallery of Western Australia; Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart; ArtBank, Sydney; Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne; Cologne Museum of Contemporary Art, Germany; Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne; Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne; Murdoch University, Perth; Devonport Art Gallery, Tasmania; University of the Northern Territory, Darwin and La Trobe University Art Collection, Melbourne.