In conversation with the Judge: Frances Hedges

We talk to our illustrious judges, while they are getting ready for shortlisting. Today we are in conversation with Frances Hedges, the associate editor of Harper's Bazaar and Town and Country, overseeing all features for both magazines, with a specialism in the visual arts.

1. Why did you decide to support the Young Masters Art Prize?

The Young Masters Art Prize is a wonderful way of encouraging both emerging and established artists from around the world to look to the past in order to inform and enhance their creative approach. At Harper’s Bazaar, we believe in celebrating our long heritage (the magazine was founded in 1867) so that we can maintain our strong visual and editorial identity while continuing to innovate and evolve. That balance between respect for the past and a willingness to embrace the modern or futuristic is, I think, reflected in the ethos of the Young Masters Art Prize.

2. What do you hope to get from the experience of judging the Prize?

Judging is always a fascinating learning experience. I am looking forward to developing an even sharper eye for beauty and creativity, and to encountering an array of talented artists who may not yet be on my radar. I am also delighted to have the opportunity to judge alongside a number of other leading names from across the creative disciplines.

3. What are you most looking forward to this 10th anniversary year?

I am excited to discover how a new set of talented artists have taken inspiration from, and reinterpreted, masterpieces from a bygone era for a contemporary audience.

4. We know that Harper’s Bazaar has recently launched its own Fashion Illustration Prize. In your opinion how do prizes shape the art market and what do they give to artists?

Art prizes are a brilliant way for emerging or mid-career artists to gain a platform to showcase work that might otherwise never get the audience it deserves. At Harper’s Bazaar, we believe in celebrating the power of the imagination, and especially the shared landscape between different creative disciplines, such as art and fashion; the prizes we have either launched or support all aim to promote such positive connections.