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Pat Brassington - 'Parachute'

Surreal feminist photography by an acclaimed Tasmanian artist.


Born in Hobart, Tasmania in 1942, Pat Brassington is one of Australia's foremost photo-media artists, with a celebrated career spanning four decades.

Brassington's work deals with feminism, surrealism and psychoanalysis, using tricks of digital manipulation to isolate and distort limbs into impossible proportions, placing fetishized body parts in surreal landscapes. At first glance Brassington's images are often enticing and ethereal, only becoming shocking as you look more closely at their content.

In this case, ‘Parachute’ features a woman's leg on tiptoe, emerging from a diaphanous pink tutu on a textured, tongue-like background.

The colour palette is predominantly pale pink and off-white, a deliberate play on the meaning of colour: 'It is not my intention to feminise the image by using pink. It is nastier than that. Pink smothers,' she once told Australian Art Collector.

About Pat Brassington

Pat Brassington studied printmaking and photography at the Tasmanian School of Art in the early 1980s and has lived and worked in Hobart her entire life.

Recognised as Australia's foremost surrealist photo-media artist, her work is held in numerous private and public collections including the NGA, AGNSW, QAG, TMAG, AGWA and Artbank. MONA in Hobart have also dedicated an entire room to her work. In 2017 Brassington was awarded the Don MacFarlane Prize in recognition of her ongoing cultural contribution and commitment to leadership in the visual arts as a senior Australian artist.

'Parachute' is one of nineteen works by Brassington in the UTAS Fine Art Collection, including four rare black and white silver gelatin photographs from her early career.

Find out more about the Fine Art Collection and other important Cultural Collections cared for by the University of Tasmania.

Image Details: 'Parachute', a photographic print by Tasmanian contemporary artist Pat Brassington, 2005. Catalogue number. UT 2017/021