Transient temples: David Spero's Churches take holy spirit to the National Media Museum

By Ben Miller | 20 April 2011
A photo of the outside of an urban garage
Deeper Life Bible Church, To Win Build and Commission, Leeds (2010)© David Spero
Exhibition: David Spero: Churches, National Media Museum, Bradford, until September 4 2011

David Spero’s journeys to churches have produced a compilation devoid of towering spires and hallowed arches.

Instead, the contemporary photographer’s survey finds dozens of makeshift prayer venues in buildings never intended for holy use, hidden down puddle-strewn alleys or stationed on corners of dilapidated urban residential streets.

Others take weekly residence in cinemas or theatres for their Sunday service, transcending the aesthetic ideal to accommodate spirituality and belief.

Taken on a small architectural camera, Spero’s quest also finds alternately beautiful, bleak, ragged and historic buildings.

Some of them have since stopped being used as churches, alluding to a further contemplation of transience, contrasting with the inferred permanence of faith.

  • Open 10am-6pm Tuesday-Sunday. Admission free.

Watch David Spero discuss Churches:

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