Young Barn Swallow by Robert Bateman

1970, 23″ x 17.5″ , Egg Tempera
“Many North American birds actually increased with the coming of our pioneers. New habitats were created and a harmonious balance was established.

I find that the barns and houses built in those days had much in common with nature. They were built from materials found in the area, were individual in character, and time and weather produced an ever changing variety to their surfaces.

It is a pity that so many of these barns are being torn down. Modern buildings do not seem so ready to accommodate nature as the barns and houses of our pioneers, in which time and weather produced an ever changing variety of surfaces.

I was attracted by the shapes of the stones and plaster on the wall. The old stable is man-made but it has an organic quality and a sense of history in its elements . . .

This is a young barn swallow whose nest was in the stable. He is fully fledged and about to take his first flight in the open air. His wing feathers are fully grown and he is ready to fly but he still has bits of fluff sticking to him. He has probably taken some flights around the stable and is now getting ready to fly outside.

There is a sliver of the outside world on the right-hand side which gives a fresh accent to the dun-coloured interior.”


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