The painting Ablution plays on the religious ritual of cleansing, through washing.To emphasize this, I have placed the Moorish Idol, a fish that habitually seeks cleaning, and the Hawaiian Cleanser Wrasse, a fish that performs it, in a church archway.
The co-evolution of persistent mutualism between the Cleaner Wrasse and other fishes, like the Moorish Idol, has evolved thanks to the benefits derived by both the small wrasse and the fish visiting its cleaning station. Evolution is not always driven by completion alone. Co-operative relationships between species are also driving forces.
By choosing a non-litteral domain as the setting, I encourage viewers to allow their thoughts to wander beyond the narrative--to consider, for example, the evolution of mutualism among other species (including Homo sapiens) or the evolution of the fascinating life cycle of the wrasses that all begin life as females, with dominant individuals becoming male when harems lose their leaders.