David Hawkins, the Bishop of Barking and Patron of Commission For Mission, describes himself as an artist first and priest second.
He is inspired by landscape, with most of what he paints having its inspiration in landscape. There are a large number of artists and periods that he finds absorbing but what fires him most are contemporary artists such as Terry Frost, Sam Francis, Ivon Hitchens and Howard Hodgkin.
In 2005 he collaborated with Pippa Hale and Stuart Tarbuck in a public art project in Leeds called Mene Mene which saw a series of texts being abstracted from their original Biblical context and filtered throughout the city in a variety of formats; from high-profile banners and adverts on bus shelters to more intimate sayings on bench plaques and shop windows.
His views on art and the need for the Church to re-engage with the arts can be read in a three-part intervew by clicking here, here and here.