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Robert Bateman (Prints)

Gatekeeper (Print)

Artist's page


Offset Paper; Edition Size 1500
12" x 17" / 30.48cm x 43.18cm
Unframed (US Dollar): $90.00

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“This is the gate to one of the original Bateman farms. It was the next farm to my father’s and belonged to his uncle. It is still an operating farm, in Bateman hands. I like to think of my father as a boy,
opening the gate and going through to the barn, perhaps to join his cousins in helping with the haying. Undoubtedly on that day, the ancestor
of this little wren would be scolding the intruder or exuberantly singing an ode to his
territory.

The house wren, male and female, are indistinguishable to my eyes though presumably not to their eyes. But the male does the singing. The song is described as rolling, rattling, bubbling, liquid trills generally seeming to descend. To me it is the unmusical music of a spring day in the rural countryside. To me, it is the unmusical music of a spring day in the rural countryside.
It is entirely bucolic.

The female does the scolding and I am told the picking of the “house”. This house can be a old tin can, a hole in a apple tree or, as in one of my favorite Audubon prints, a discarded hat. however, generations of bird lovers have eagerly built bird houses which are almost as eagerly accepted by those little birds. actually, the male may do some scolding as well; it is hard for me to tell. At any rate, the busy pair are metaphorical gatekeepers to their territory and they declare it in their own way.”