Symbiosis describes the state of dissimilar organisms living together in intimate association or close union. Symbiotic relationships provide mutual benefits; however, such equitable harmony between nature and humans is arguably out of balance today. Studies show that the environment is being destroyed at a rate unprecedented in over 10,000 years. Some point out that the environment is not really being “destroyed”, in the sense that the dirt and rocks are just fine, but rather, humans are negatively impacting earth’s biosphere. The consequences of this degradation are so severe, it threatens human life.
Rather than dwelling on this ominous danger, Clowes’ work is inspired by close exchanges that reveal the prospect for equilibrium. Her work incorporates ideas about interconnection and juxtaposition through both material and concept. In this particular installation titled Possibility, Clowes presents an optimistic visual articulation of the prospect of living with nature symbiotically. Referencing schools of fish, Clowes suspends natural elements (sticks) and human-made objects (utensils) in flowing, effortless, interrelationships. This installation is a metaphor addressing global warming, our environmental impact, and the joy of thinking about possibilities.