Erling Sjovold’s new series, EYELETS, exists as a visual diary of walking and wandering, as these works are rendered elements of Sjovold’s necessitated bipedal journeys over this recent pandemic. As a pun on the word islet, and in connection with his many walks to Belle Isle in Richmond, VA, Sjovold expresses how isles appear in unexpected ways throughout the city: via planet and climate, private and public boundaries, homes, rooms, windows, personal space, and even within the self. He expresses how these physical boundaries often translate to internal isolation phenomena of memory, desire, and imagination. In this way, his paintings exist as meditations on these themes. Sjovold sees these little windows into his walks as informal conversations, which can exist as private and speculative exchanges between environment and artist, and ultimately from work to viewer.
Sjovold received his BFA from U.C. Berkeley in 1984 and his MFA in Painting and Drawing from The School of the Art Institute in Chicago in 1990. He has exhibited consistently in group and solo capacities since 2007 on a national scale. His grants and residency awards include the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Space Program, the Ragdale Foundation Artist Residency, The Center for Land Use Interpretation, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Jessie Ball DuPont Summer Fellowship at the National Center for the Humanities, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship. He taught at SCAD (1992-1997), Indiana University- Bloomington (1997-1999), and has been an Associate Professor at the University of Richmond in Virginia since 1999.