Tales from the Co-op:
Tom Hollenback

installation view of Trace Elements, augmented relief prints on wood with glass beads and silk thread

Over the past year, I have been experimenting with ways to incorporate printmaking into my work as a sculptor. I am attracted to relief printing not so much as an end in itself but as a means to manipulate paper in a structural manner that guides and supports an expanded goal. Originally based upon close-ups of skin, these pieces have evolved in several directions that include expanded references to the body and other cellular structures as well as occasional allusions to landscape.

I begin each piece with a print on paper that may be a blind embossment or may incorporate graphite or water-soluble pigments. After stitching silk thread to the print, I mount the paper on a wood panel and continue construction until the work is completed. I view the resulting objects as a balance of refined and intensely worked components with rough, raw, and largely unmitigated elements.

Highpoint has provided excellent facilities in which to work and I have found it to be a supportive environment for the types of experimentation that interest me. I appreciate being able to tap into the experience and deep knowledge base of both the staff and other co-op members when technical issues arise and I have benefited greatly from doing so. Although much of my work happens in my studio in Wisconsin, I enjoy the days that I make the trek to Highpoint to print.