Born in Hobart, Tasmania in 1942, Brassington completed a Bachalor of Visual Art at the Tasmanian College of Advanced Education, Hobart in 1978 and a Master of Fine Arts at the Tasmanian School of Art, University of Tasmania in 1985, which marked the beginning of her career.
In 2013 Brassington was also awarded the Monash Gallery of Art Bowness Photography Prize. 'A Rebours', a major survey of the artist's work was held at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne in 2012, which toured to the Australian Centre of Photography, Sydney in 2013 and to New Zealand in 2014. A major retrospective of Brassington's work was held at the Ian Potter Centre, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne in 2002.
Her inclusion in 'Parallel Collisions', the Adelaide Biennale, 2012 and the Biennale of Sydney, 'On Reason and Emotion', 2004 underlined the continuing importance of her work in the context of international contemporary art.
Brassington has been shown in major photographic surveys in Australia since the late 1980s including 'Flatlands: Photography and Everyday Space', Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, 2012; 'Points of View: A Survey of Australian Photography 1985-95', Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, 2005; 'World without end: Photography and the 20th Century', Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, 2000 and, 'Photography is Dead! Long Live Photography!', Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 1996.
Her work has also been interpreted across a number of themes for over three decades in exhibitions that celebrate her otherworldly imagery, including 'The Enigmatic Object: Photography and the Uncanny', Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, 1997, and 'The Aberrant Object: Women Dada and Surrealism', Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 1994.
Pat Brassington is represented by Stills Gallery, Sydney and Arc One Gallery, Melbourne.