Silent Witness - Wolf
Robert Bateman  Artist Proof

Silent Witness - Wolf by Robert Bateman

 Silent Witness - Wolf
Limited Edition Artist Proof
by Robert Bateman
  199 Artists Proofs

The Canadian Precambrian shield has always held a special allure for me. It goes back to the very roots of time. The ancient rocks tell a story of the great forces of the earth. They have been sculpted by rivers and glaciers into a rugged landscape. This ruggedness has, until recent decades, formed a barrier to human development and therefore has been a bastion of wilderness by definition.

I am endlessly fascinated by the sculptural forms of bedrock. The embellishment of surface textures by erosion and those pioneers of life, the lichens, increase the rich feast for the eye. In this case, I have added the patches of snow turned to ice, which indicates a late winter thaw and refreezing. The wolf, another symbol of our northern wilderness, is hesitating to step out from the shelter of the cliff.

In spite of all the stories and research about vocalization in wolves, they are almost always completely silent. This is, of course, essential for their way of life. They move very quietly through the forest so that their prey would not be aware of the danger in the vicinity.

Wolves face dangers as well from their only serious predator, man. Wolves who are not normally silent would be either very hungry or very dead. Since they live in family packs and use strategy for hunting, they must communicate by body language, facial expression and perhaps, even subliminally. Wolves are remarkably sensitive observers of their surroundings and the events that take place there. The wolf tribe as a whole has been quietly watching vast changes to their world in the last 200 years. The last 50 have been particularly shocking in the range of change and devastation of our wilderness heritage. All wolves are indeed silent witnesses to the deeds of mankind. -Robert Bateman

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