The Pig-Faced Lady of Manchester Square

The Documented Life Project prompt this week was to construct a character and the quotation was “If you’re going to be weird, be confident about it!”  Perfect!  I instantly had an idea for my art journal page.

One of my geeky interests is in the history of “freaks” and sideshows.  I find the social history of how people were treated through time to be fascinating.  I probably saw the Tod Browning film ‘Freaks’ at too impressionable an age.  One of the historic freaks who first captured my  imagination was the Pig-Faced Lady of Manchester Square.  She was one of many pig-faced women who gained fame but was possibly the most celebrated – or at least she is the one who has found a place in my memory.  Of course, the whole thing was a hoax.  A bear was drugged and shaved and made to walk upright while wearing a costume.  Completely random and astonishingly awful.  However, as weird characters go the Pig-Faced Lady was my inspiration, my bizarre muse.

I did not have much free time this week so I kept my page simple.  This is simply a watercolour sketch with the words stamped in archival ink.  My kids are hugely amused by it and I am pretty pleased with how it turned out.

Week 32 - Weird Character

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9 thoughts on “The Pig-Faced Lady of Manchester Square

  1. I have not heard of the pig faced women and hit the link you shared. I have again learned something new. Thank you. I think it was nice of you to depict her in your journal as she is widely popular in England and in Ireland according to the link.

    • She was one of the first sideshow / fair exhibits I ever learned about so in some ways she started my fascination with that corner of social history. It was fun drawing her. I actually can’t believe I had never done so before.

  2. Oh one more thing have you read the book series of Ransom Riggs – Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (book 1), Hollow City (book 2) and lastly Library of Souls (book 3)? The books are for young adult readers but it sure got my attention. I have only read until the second book and was so very entertained. Will have to save for the third book.

  3. Pingback: Altered Book of Monsters – #1 – The Pig-Faced Lady of Manchester Square | Pict Ink

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