Bath PCSO creates series of lockdown portraits of colleagues on the front line

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A Bath PCSO has been using his artistic talents to boost team morale during lockdown by creating a series of oil portraits of his colleagues.

PCSO Mark Trueman, of the Bath city centre beat team, was inspired by a fellow artist who volunteered to produce portraits of NHS staff in full PPE amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Mark, who joined Avon and Somerset in 2016 after spending a decade working for the Metropolitan Police, finds painting an effective way to de-stress in his free time.

PCSO Mark Trueman

He said: “I was watching the news, and there was a short feature on an artist who, during the lockdown, volunteered to do portraits. Apparently he had run out of subjects during lockdown and found inspiration through the NHS.

“I thought that this would be a good time for me to do a few portraits of police officers on the front line as well. And there was no better place to start than my own colleagues sat next to me.”

After approaching his inspector, Gavin Usher, with the idea, he agreed to be Mark’s first subject. Mark has since gone on to create portraits of several other colleagues, including Sergeant Sarah Dinnis, PCSO Zoe Knowles and PCSO Paul Childs.

The portraits each took Mark between five and seven hours to complete.

Gavin said: “Mark has volunteered many hours of his own time to this project to bring some much needed cheer to his colleagues, as well as a way to look after his own wellbeing.

“We’re all delighted with the portraits, which are a great way to celebrate the hard work of the team during this challenging time.”

Mark, who has previously entered his work in national portrait competitions, added: “I was born into a family of artists spanning a few generations, and picked up the genes. After attending art college I have kept it up as a hobby and a way to relax – it’s been especially helpful as a way to deal with lockdown.

“I’m glad that my favourite pastime has helped bring some extra positivity to my team.”

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