Hello Frances Segelman, what have you been up to since last Winter Pride? Tell us a bit about yourself and your work, and how you came to be involved with Winter Pride Arts Awards?
I have been busy sculpting Prince Charles and Mayor of London Boris Johnson as well as putting the finishing touches to my sculpture of Julian Fellowes, whom I sculpted for the Stroke Association. I initially became involved in the Winter Pride Art Awards when I was asked to judge the first Winter Pride art competition at Tobacco Dock and I am delighted to be participating as a judge for the third time.
What do you think of the Art Awards brief this year ‘Line of Beauty – exploring sexuality, gender and identity’. Has it been inspired by the changes that have been happening in politics and the media recently regarding LGBTI recognition and rights?
I think it’s a really strong theme and I look forward to seeing this year’s entries. There has been so much in the press recently about gender identity it seems like the right time to explore these issues through art.
What are you looking for in entries to fit with this brief?
I am looking for original artworks that interpret the theme whilst demonstrating a high level of execution.
The Arts Award is open to eleven different art forms this year – what to you is art?
Art is a reflection of life and a reminder to live for the moment.
With cuts to funding and arts studios looking to continue in the UK, what do you think are the greatest challenges to current artists? Do you think that society still values art and artists?
The greatest challenge to artists is to avoid being compromised in their artwork by lack of funding. I would like to think that even if government gives less priority to the arts, society in general places great value in supporting working artists.
And finally, we are all going to be feeling proud this Winter Pride season, but what else makes you feel proud?
I am proud to be a female professional sculptor in a world dominated by men.
Interview by Alice Botham, Winter Pride Art Awards Co-ordinator