For Art UK's 'Being...' series, we take a look at a day in the life of a professional working in the arts, heritage or museum sector.
What's your role?
As the Head of Collection, Loans and Programming for Paintings in Hospitals, my primary focus is on the delivery of the charity’s objective: to use our art collection to inspire and support better health and wellbeing. This achieved through our loans and engagement programme as well as through projects with museum partners such as 'Rooted in the Landscape', our recent exhibition and symposium in partnership with the Arts Council Collection. We lend our art collection to over 170 health or social care partners (from hospitals and care homes to homeless shelters). I manage nine members of the charity and am responsible for up to 30 volunteers. My key objectives revolve around making sure the team are happy and achieving, as well as developing, caring for and interpreting the collection, ensuring 70% of the collection is on public display, and developing and renewing partnerships for the charity.
What's your morning routine?
Every morning I’m woken up by my very active two-year-old! Typically, this will be before
What's your journey to work like?
After dropping my son off at nursery, I get the train into London Bridge. I spend my train journey checking my work emails, watching iPlayer and eating my breakfast (I aim to be healthy by having fruit but occasionally sneak in a croissant). I like to flick between things on iPlayer so am currently between ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ and ‘Whoever Heard of a Black Artist? Britain’s Hidden Art History’. Both make me cry a little, so I have to find a seat in a corner! Once I’m at London Bridge, I buy a filter coffee and walk to the Menier Chocolate Factory where I work – passing the Shard, Guys Hospital, The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Borough Market.
What's a typical morning at work for you?
I work compressed hours, so I do my full-time hours across four days instead of five. Typically I start at
I tend to focus on operational activity in the mornings such as approving or commenting on artwork lists for
What's for lunch?
As I manage a national programme, I’m usually out of the office one day of the week for meetings with loan or project partners: usually in locations where we have our showcase displays – York, Birmingham, Cardiff, Bristol, Derby and Bury St Edmunds. If I’m not out, I'll make lunch in the office and eat with the team. I love our lunchtime banter: it often involves learning interesting facts and lots of laughing!
What's a typical afternoon like?
In the afternoons, I tend to get my head down and focus on strategic bits of work. This week I’m reviewing our Loan Agreements, adding comments for our annual financial audit/impact report, setting team KPIs for 2019, writing project plans, updating our volunteer policy/handbook, and commenting on funding applications.
Spread throughout the day are calls from Loans Coordinators. Depending on the day/week I have regular
What do you do after work?
If I’m not meeting a friend for dinner or going to an exhibition opening, I usually get home by
Amisha Karia, Head of Collection, Loans and Programming for Paintings in Hospitals
Do you work in the arts, heritage or museum sector? Would you be kind enough to share an example of your working day for our 'Being...' series? Please get in touch with Art UK at firstname.lastname@example.org as we'd love to hear from you.