Post-doctoral research fellow
Dr Altea Grau is an artist and researcher investigating the concept of reading associated to notions of echo, duality and the fold. She is currently a post-doctoral fellow working with the BA and MA Fine Art courses at UCA Canterbury.
Altea Grau is a practicing artist and researcher exploring the concept of reading and the suggestion of text. She uses the metaphor of the double page spread as a place to develop site-specific practice to investigate the meaning that emerges from the engagement with the visual, spatial, material and connotative properties of an ‘opened book.’ The use of printmaking within Altea’s work has an important impact in the way she develops a visual language, exploring the symbolic power of the duality, echo, mirroring and the notion of fold in order to propose a new dialogue with the form and notion of page. Altea’s work has been exhibited internationally and her work is part of collections including the V&A Library, Chelsea and Leeds College Special Collections, DKV Foundation, CMGV (Spain) and the Harold Berg Collection amongst others.
Altea Grau holds a BA in Fine Arts by the Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain). She received the Davalos Fletcher Foundation Scholarship to complete an MA Visual Arts (Book Arts) by the Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London. She has also received the Rector´s and Leonardo Scholarship (UAL) and in 2020 completed her PhD in the field of Fine Arts at the Chelsea College of Arts, titled: Unmasking Conventions, a re evaluation of the notion of the double page spread within fine art practice. She exhibits nationally and internationally and continues to contribute to key debates through exhibitions and international conferences and symposiums across fine art printmaking, drawing and photography contexts.
Altea Grau is interested in exploring the concept of reading and the notion of the double page spread as a place to develop site-specific practice. She investigates the meaning that emerges from the engagement with the visual, spatial, material and connotative properties of the opened book.
By asking why conventions associated with the page generate such an impact on the way we engage and read an opened book, her research developed to investigate how the illusion of mirroring and echo, the fold and the suggestion of text, generate a fundamental shift in the perception and reading of the double page. She explores the limits of the page through her own practice, by creating artworks that conquer the space and often invoke ideas about language, communication and the sublime through print, drawing and moving image and using landscape and architectural subject matter, to generate unstable, shifting material surfaces.
She investigates theoretically and critically the context of the research considering the discussion of visual elements that compose the material presence of the double-page. She considers it as an independent piece of art itself as they play a crucial role in the way we perceive it. She studies the notions of opening, duality, mirroring, echo and fold both through her own work as well as through the work of artists such as Jasper Johns, Dieter Roth and Anish Kapoor. Umberto Eco’s theories about mirrors also frame a questioning of the experience and perception of reading as a semiotic phenomenon as well as Deleuze’s essay The Fold and Adorno’s Minima Moralia contextualise the notion of fold. These ideas connect with her interpretation of the ‘perception’ of the page as articulated thought through the notion of connotation.
Presentation in International conferences:
- 2022. History/Histories: From the Limits of Representation to the Boundaries of Narrative. 17th International Conference on the Arts in Society. Universidad de San Jorge, Zaragoza.
Title of paper: ‘Perceptual Disruption: the Poetic and Symbolic Language of the Double-Page Spread’
- 2022. Impact_12, International Printmaking Conference. Centre for Fine Print Research, University of West England, Bristol.
Presentation of research paper ‘Unmasking Conventions: Reading the Double-Page Spread’
- 2021. 16ª International Conference on the Arts in Society. The University of Western Australia, Perth.
Presentation of paper: ‘Opened Books, the Perception of the Page’, trabajo de investigación.
- 2018. Impact_10, International Printmaking Conference. Santander, hosted by the Centre for Fine Print Research, University of West England, Bristol.
Presentation of research paper ‘Anish Kapoor’s folds: a printmaking investigation’
Professional Membership, Affiliation and Consultancy
- Fellow member of the Higher Education Academy