Pat Brassington

1942 - #8 The Pressings 2011 pigment print 85 x 115 cm Collection Shepparton Art Museum, purchased 2012 2012.42

The idea of The Pressings comes from the practice of pressing flowers between pages of a book, an activity which is about the preservation of a fragile form of beauty. However in this work the pressing or petal, has obscured the female face, almost as a blemish or over-sized pimple, confounding the polite sensibility of the art of flower pressing.

This delicate floral craft, originating in 16th Century Japan before making its way into the pastimes of Victorian ladies, seems immediately at odds with Brassington’s celebrated aesthetic, which challenges us with the uncanny, the abject, and the unconscious. The form of a pressing provides a method for looking at the binary form of the real and the reflected image. Here, the obscured female face, placed next to an image of broken glass, present a kind of shattered vision or illusion of beauty, perhaps even a broken fantasy.