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Pat Brassington
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Mat Collishaw
Lucid, 2008
Pigment print
78.5 x 55cm, Ed. 8 + 2 AP




ESSAY ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Sometimes described as Australia’s leading surrealist photographic artist, Pat Brassington’s art practice does not sit at ease with fashion or style. Yes, she is enthusiastic about the works of some artists in the surrealist movement and there are many other artists she admires as well. Yes, she has read with genuine interest about psychoanalysis alongside a whole raft of theoretical works. Many aspects of that vast body of art knowledge, ideas, theory and practice inform her essential criticality; just as her own life experience is in there in large measure as well.

At the same time her actual art practice, the building of artworks, is more likely to find its genesis in an image, a family snap, a found photograph, an aging ‘wonder book’, a stained piece of wall paper or a shoe with a holey sole. It’s with one or more images, or a physical thing, that play begins. At least in the early stages of these voyages into an unknown, Brassington will be light on the helm. Various scenarios present themselves in the course of the play. Some are pursued and pushed until they are finally accepted or rejected. Critical scrutiny of this extremely fluid test-bed is ever present. Likely, it will be shelved for another day and still other days.

It follows that each artwork has a different starting point and is the outcome of its own separate journey. This scenario, ranged side by side with her refusal to accept boundaries, provides an explanation for the diversity that often can be found in a Pat Brassington exhibition.

The current exhibition at Greenaway Art Gallery is a small survey from various groupings over the last decade. Images have been adopted by feminists, dissected psychologically, interpreted as surrealist or fetishist but always distinctly individual.



1942 Born, Hobart, Tasmania
BA Visual Art, School of Art, Tasmanian College of Advanced Education, Hobart
1985 MFA Tasmanian School of Art, University of Tasmania

Pat Brassington, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide
A heartbeat away & The Pressings, Stills Gallery, NSW
A Rebours, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, VIC

2010 A Perfect Day, Stills Gallery, Sydney, NSW
A Perfect Day, Arc One Gallery, Melbourne, VIC
2009 A Perfect Day, Criterion Gallery, Hobart, TAS
2008 Pat Brassington, Lönnstrom Art Museum, Finland
Pat Brassington, AMA Gallery, Helsinki Festival, Finland
The Best Move, Stills Gallery, Sydney
2007 Pat Brassington - Cambridge Road, IMA, Brisbane
Pat Brassington - Cambridge Road, Stills Gallery, Sydney
Pat Brassington – Heat, ARC one Gallery, Melbourne
2006 Art Cologne 2006, Cologne, Germany
In the Same Vein, Stills Gallery, Sydney
Pat Brassington, Arc One Gallery, Melbourne
Sweet Thereafter, Criterion Gallery, Hobart
2005 You’re So Vein, Stills Gallery, Sydney
2004 Pat Brassington, Stills South, Sydney
2003 A Little Waltz, Stills Gallery, Sydney
Pat Brassington, Bett Gallery, Hobart
2002 Pat Brassington: Works in Progress, Ian Potter
Museum of Art, Uni of Melb VIC & Carnegie Gallery, TAS
Default Blue, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney
2001 Gentle, Stills Gallery, Sydney NSW and Australian
Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, VIC
2012 Parallel Collisions, Adelaide Biennale
2010 A Generosity of Spirit: Recent Australian Women's Art
from the QUT Art Collection, QLD Uni of Technology
Snapshot, Contemporary Photography from the La
Trobe University Art Collection, VIC
Feminism Never Happened, IMA, Brisbane, QLD
2009 SEASON09, Stills Gallery, Sydney
Dark Dreams + Fluorescent Flesh, University of SA
2008 Folded, Faculty Gallery, Monash Art & Design, VIC
Wish you were here, Tweed River Art Gallery, NSW
2007 Season 07, Stills Gallery, Sydney
Art Cologne 2007, Cologne, Germany
Human, Hous Projects, New York

Girl Band, curated by Barbara Flynn, Deloitte’s, Sydney
Light Sensitive: Contemporary Australian Photography
from the Loti Smorgan Fund, NGV, Melbourne
Art Cologne 2006 Cologne, Germany


Uncanny, Artspace, Auckland, New Zealand
Points of View: Aust. Photography ‘85 – ’95, AGNSW
MCA Collection: New Acquisitions in Context, MCA
Art Cologne 2005, Cologne, Germany

2004 Supernatural Artificial, The Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo & touring throughout Asia
On Reason and Emotion, Biennale of Sydney, Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Gallery of NSW, NSW
Pressing Flesh, Auckland City Gallery, New Zealand
In Focus, Campbelltown City Gallery, NSW
The Line Between Us, Monash University Museum of Art, VIC Penumbra, McClelland Gallery, VIC
Jet: Digital Art Prints, Devonport Gallery and Art Centre, TAS
Anxious Bodies, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
2001 2001 Photographica Australis, ARCO 2002, Sala del Canal de Isabel II, Madrid, Spain
Love at First Sight, Contemporary Centre for Photography, Melbourne VIC
Fieldwork: Australian Art 1968-2002, Ian Potter Centre, National Gallery of Victoria
Jet: Digital Art Prints, Carnegie Gallery, Hobart TAS
Ooze: Six Tasmanian Artists, Roar 2 Gallery, Melbourne VIC
Chameleon Contemporary Art Space, Hobart, and University Gallery, University of Tasmania
Poets and Painters, Dick Bett Gallery, Hobart, TAS
The Lightness of Being: Contemporary Photographic Art from Australia, Monash University Gallery, Melbourne VIC
Pinhole to Pixel, The Sir Hermann Black Gallery, University of Sydney NSW
Australian Paper Art Awards 2001, The George Adams Gallery, Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne VIC
2000 Telling Tales: The Child in Contemporary Photography, Monash University Gallery, Melbourne (Touring exhibition)
The Lightness of Being: Contemporary Photographic Art from Australia, Neue Berliner Kunstverein / NBK GERMANY (Touring exhibition: Dresden, Dusseldorf, Stuttgart)
World without end: Photography and the 20th Century, Art Gallery of NSW
1998 Telling Tales, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney NSW and Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum, Joanneum, Graz, AUSTRIA
Shell Fremantle Print Prize, Fremantle Art Centre, WA
Sixth Australian Contemporary Art Fair, Royal Exhibition Building, VIC
Respond Red or Blue, Royal Melbourne Hospital, VIC
1997 The Enigmatic Object: Photography and the Uncanny, Art Gallery of NSW, Shell Fremantle Print Prize, Fremantle Art Centre, WA
Geelong Print Prize, Geelong Art Gallery, VIC
Launch, Stills Gallery, Sydney NSW
1996 Photography is Dead! Long Live Photography! Museum for Contemporary Art, NSW
Hobart City Art Prize, Carnegie Gallery, Hobart City Council, TAS
1995 Half Light, (Touring exhibition: Arts Council of Tasmania venues)
Bad Light, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Bond Store, Hobart TAS, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney NSW and Contemporary Centre for Photography, Melbourne VIC
Art, Gender Identity: Works by Women artists from the Permanent Collection, Devonport Gallery and Arts Centre, TAS
Colonial Pastime to Contemporary Profession, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, TAS
Home Body, Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston
Carnegie Gallery, Hobart City Council TAS
Home Made, Plimsoll Gallery, Centre for the Arts, University of Tasmania at Hobart, (in collaboration with Geoff Parr)
Photographing Architecture: Spatiality, Ideology and the Body, University Gallery, University of Tasmania
1993 Pictograms: Aspects of Contemporary Photographic Practice (An AETA national touring exhibition)
The Aberrant Object: Women Dada and Surrealism, Museum of Modern Art at Heide, Melbourne VIC
True Stories, Artspace, Sydney NSW
1991 Blink, Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Adelaide
Camera Obscura, Darwin Contemporary Art Space, NT
Psychosoma, Plimsoll Gallery, Centre for the Arts, University of Tasmania
Medium Density, Australian National Gallery, Canberra ACTOoze: Six Tasmanian Artists, Roar 2 Gallery, Melbourne VIC, Chameleon Contemporary Art Space and the University Gallery, University of Tasmania at Launceston
Fragmentation and Fabrication: Recent Australian Photography, Art Gallery of South Australia
Frames of Reference: Aspects of Feminist Art, A Dissonance Project organised by Artspace, Sydney, NSW
Heterogeneity/Herterogeneity, A Dissonance Project organised by the Campbelltown City Art Gallery, NSW
Subject/Object, Art House, Launceston TAS