Pat Brassington's work uncovers how the endless possibilities of our deep and complex inner states — narratives of sex, memory and identity — run quietly rampant.
Influenced by surrealism, feminism and psychoanalysis, Brassington is known for her ability to combine the ordinary with the unusual, making her work provocatively ambiguous. In Night Swimming, she employs photomontage to reveal the power of the mind to transform mundane objects and situations into sites/sights of sensuality, desire, horror or menace. Baulking prior to resolution, Brassington leaves her work open to interpretation; allowing the viewers' visual mind to make its own associations. Digitally manipulated and evocatively juxtaposed, bodily fragments, inky tones, fetish objects and claustrophobic interiors are rendered abject or sublime, unsettling or seductive by the viewer; exposing our innermost predilections, hopes, biases and fears.
Typical of the artist's work, these monochromatic images bring together a series of fragments which create a strange and ambiguous world. The parts of the images – a fish slipping down a throat, a jarring clash of sharp fingernails, heads which twist into a strange darkness and feet that curl – are drawn from Brassington's vast archive of visual material and are deeply personal. These disjointed compositions offer contradictions between the soft charcoal tones of the pigment print, the intimacy of the forms and the unsettling charge of the juxtapositions. Night Swimming rouses a sense of disquiet as the images subtly and humorously scratch at the underbelly of the human condition.
Press release courtesy Arc One Gallery.