'Creature Container' show at San Antonio's Clamp Light blends microorganisms, childhood fantasy


Guadalupe Quesada, Microorganisms (green), ceramic, 2020 - COURTESY OF CLAMP LIGHT ARTIST STUDIOS AND GALLERRY
  • Courtesy of Clamp Light Artist Studios and Gallerry
  • Guadalupe Quesada, Microorganisms (green), ceramic, 2020
On road trips to San Antonio as a child, Mexico-born artist Guadalupe Quesada marveled at the city's giant water towers and dreamed up an entire world of creatures that must be contained within.

"I would imagine all sorts of creatures lived inside of them, I assumed they were secret bases for aliens or monsters," she says. "My siblings and I used to call them 'chupirules' which is the name of a Mexican lollipop."

Guadalupe Quesada, Rainbow Tank, ceramic, 2020
  • Guadalupe Quesada, Rainbow Tank, ceramic, 2020
Quesada has brought those beings to life for a solo exhibition at Clamp Light Artist Studios and Gallery this month. For "Creature Container," she created a dual body of work that recreates the universe once held in her childhood imagination — both container and contained.

In a series of sculptures, Quesada reinterprets the shape of the tanks, combining them with celestial bodies and lollipops to make Suessical ceramic vessels. Then, on five wooden panels, she provides a glimpse at what may be contained within, with a real-world twist: tiny ceramic figures that represent the microorganisms that live in fresh water, invisible to the naked eye.

"Even though water tanks do not contain extraterrestrial life, they do contain a magical life elixir full of tiny alien-like creatures living in it, which like us, could not exist without it," Quesada says.

"Creature Container" is on view by appointment – or through the gallery's large front window — through October 26.

Free, on view by appointment October 9-26, Clamp Light Artist Studios and Gallery, 1704 Blanco Rd., (832) 259-3530, clamplightstudios.com.

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