Foreword by Oliver Sears for The Boxing Diaries an exhibition at Oliver Sears Gallery 2015
“Now, whoever has courage and a strong and collected spirit in his breast, let him come forward, lace on the gloves and put up his hands. (5.363-364)” Virgil, the Aeneid
'A sequence of small and intimate paintings that capture the subculture of amateur boxing in Ireland. The artist, Sarah Walker, has a unique perspective. She’s drawn to this world by the presence of her two sons who have become dedicated to the sport. Living on a remote peninsula in West Cork, her sons' interest has meant a heavy routine for their mother: hours of driving to training sessions, matches that take place nationwide, the encouragement of anyone wanting their child to win and the anguish of waiting for and seeing violence meted out. The Boxing Diaries depict a particular time in the lives of one family. The cliché of boxing being a metaphor for life maybe inescapably implicit in the narrative but the painting, with its contrast of heavy impasto to highlight human interaction and flat expenses that seem to slow time, is a broad account of raising children in rural Ireland. Sarah walker has brought poise and purpose to the ancient act of pugilism which allows the viewer to access the familiar in a brand new way.'