The Itinerant Bizarrium is my way to add a touch of eccentricity, intrigue and reverie to your everyday by opening a door into a magical alternative.

Do come and escape to a world of folklore , freaks  and floozies



I'm Penelope O'Gara, creator at the Itinerant Bizarrium

Combining a host of influences - Angela Carter, Nick Cave, Botticelli, John Galliano, Gustav Moreau, Christopher Marlowe, Sarah Waters, and oh so many more* - with my background in theatre design and exploration of English lore, I make folk with a sense of history.  They inhabit a world of literary characters, archetypes, icons, goddesses and good old-fashioned freaks.




Most of my dolls are made of cloth which is given many, many coats of paint - gesso, acrylics and an oil glaze before finishing with matte varnish - producing an appearance akin to wood, but a feel closer to leather. Others are rebuilds of Monster High dolls, and some are articulated clay pieces.

All are clothed in largely vintage fabrics and trims - treasures hoarded away during my years of costuming - which adds to their sense of being heirlooms from an alternative universe.


Many of the characters emerge from a lengthy development process - first an annotated collage spread in one of my themed journals, then a "portrait" painting before finally making their 3D appearance. Watercolours have always been my medium of choice for design sketches - in more "finished" pieces I often add graphite, ink, pastels, and even stitching.  Traditional paper has given way to canvas as my preferred surface - I love its distinctive texture which reminds me of the grain of old film.

Several of these are now available as high quality prints.


In the real world, having tired of the bright lights of Los Angeles, I now live with my three handsome sons in a barn on the edge of the beautiful Somerset levels.  Not forgetting cats Miss Fifi, the (she believes) superior calico, and Bugaboo, the eternally grubby fluffball.



* I could not resist adding to the list : Anton Chekov, Jane's Addiction, Alexander McQueen, Carnivale, Edgar Allan Poe, Daphne du Maurier, Guillermo del Toro, the X Files, Edward Gorey....

Please do let me know who you think I need to know about & might add to the list...