Day in the Life: Louise Campion

close-up photo of a person with medium-length blond hair smiling ino the camera with a door frame behind them

What have you been doing today?

Today is Valentine’s Day (and half-term) so I’ve been leading free, creative drop-in workshop for families at the Holburne Museum, Bath where I’m Head of Learning & Engagement. Families have been making ‘Love is in the Air’ mobiles, focusing on early the signs of Spring and a love of the natural world to create leaf prints and insects. It’s such a treat to soak up the creative buzz in the room and see how making together can connect people. Half-way through I have to run to another building to chair a zoom get-together of Creative Health freelance artists and support staff who help to deliver our workshops and Pathways to Wellbeing Programme. We’re reflecting on some Autism training we recently attended and how what we learnt can inform our practice. It’s great to make time for reflective practice and even better to do it with a group of such committed people. 


Is that a typical day for you?

No! Now that I’m working at a more strategic level I rarely lead creative sessions and have much less contact with people who are coming to the supported, creative groups we run at the museum. Usually I’m in zoom or face-to-face meetings, planning future programmes, events and exhibitions. In my Working Together Project Lead role with the Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance and GEM I’m privileged to be seeing the bigger ‘national’ picture, working with 6 museums across the UK. For this I’m coproducing a training programme intended to support and strengthen these organisations to embed creative health within their organisations and infrastructures. 


When did you start working with culture, health and wellbeing, and how?

Some of my earliest memories of feeling ‘alive’ are linked with creativity – music, drama and making! Through working with many different people (including professional artists and creative facilitators) I have seen how creativity can ‘ground’ people giving them purpose, freedom and the ability to make their own meanings. When I began working in a museum I saw that the offer of quiet, contemplative spaces and the culture of care for objects could be translated into a culture of care for people. The place-based nature of local museum’s collections can also connect people and communities, providing historical perspectives which give us a different ‘longer lens’ through which to look at the ‘here and now’. 


What was the last project you came across that inspired you?

Glow in Weston-Super-Mare which is an annual light festival. Having grown up near WSM I know that exciting family events like this weren’t happening when I was young. Since then Banksy’s ‘Dismal Land’ pop-up installation and ‘See Monster’ a temporary installation (from a repurposed oil rig) have   What really inspires about Glow is the emphasis on community collaborations and interactive elements. The commitment to involving young people and local communities in the creative process is brilliant. 


Louise Campion is Head of Learning & Engagement at the Holburne Museum in Bath. As part of this role she manages Pathways to Wellbeing a well-established Creative Health programme involving a partnership of 4 museums in Bath. She is also Project Lead for Working Together – Culture Health & Wellbeing Alliance and GEM (Group for Education in Museums) 

Louise has had a meandering career path from secondary school art teacher to delivering PSHE and emotional health and wellbeing work, community youth projects, project evaluation and latterly learning and community engagement in the heritage sector. The connecting thread is a core belief in the power of cultural engagement and creativity to promote connection, mental health and social equality.