EU shipping is temporarily suspended

Podcast: The boundless imagination of Eileen Agar

Posted on 03 May 2024

In this episode, artist Olivia Fraser offers a personal glimpse inside the incandescent life and art of her great aunt Eileen Agar, a pioneering figure in Surrealism.

Eileen Agar, photographed by Orde Eliason, Holland Park, 1988. © Orde Eliason.

At once a painter, collagist, photographer, sculptor, hatmaker and more, Eileen Agar moved fluidly between what she called ‘the different facets of my artistic personality’. Her long and vibrant life spanned Buenos Aires, Paris and London, and was enriched by friendships and relationships with other major cultural figures, including Paul Nash, Lee Miller, Henry Moore, Man Ray, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí and Ezra Pound.

In this podcast episode, artist Olivia Fraser remembers Agar as an insatiably imaginative figure whose kaleidoscopic studio was its own work of art. Olivia shares how beachcombing was a powerful source of inspiration for Agar, and how themes of chance and coincidence played into her work. Living through two World Wars, Agar retained an incredible resilience and an innate capacity for joy. She had, in Olivia’s words, an ability ‘to see the surreal in everything’.

Out now, A Look at My Life is a new edition of Eileen Agar’s life story in her own words.

Our podcasts are also available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

This episode was presented by Eliza Apperly. Intro and outro audio by Eliza Apperly and Benjamin Nash.

Discover the book

A Look at My Life

Eileen Agar, Andrew Lambirth, Olivia Fraser