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In the Garden 

When: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Continues through July 10 2010

Natalie Cartwright's fantasy porcelain sculptures combine folklore and natural history to odd effect: They're fey and occasionally creepy. The statuettes suggest whimsical Beatrix Potter characters gone feral, while the figure groups that are mounted on oval plaques suggest taxidermy mounts, dissection trays, and life-cycle diagrams. In "Friend or Foe," a blind mole confronts two alarming interlopers. In "To Be in Clover (a personal history of beast)" a Wookiee/bear, a ghost/skull, a jackalope, a llama/unicorn, a duckbilled humanoid turtle, and a garden-variety gnome are patrolled by ray-like clover trefoils (one blessed with four leaves). And in "Daisy Chain," a fox, a butterfly, a weasel, a snake, and a squirrel romp around a swaddled baby animal that may remind you of the fretful kid in Eraserhead. In the Garden runs with Return to Romanticism, jewelry by LuanaCoonen, and Cartwright's re-enacted Alice in Wonderland photos, through July 10 at Vessel Gallery (471 25th St., Oakland). 510-893-8800 or

— DeWitt Cheng


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