Between the endless galleries and crowded monuments, sightseeing tends to mean visiting a lot of cathedrals. They’re all pretty beautiful, but after a while the site of another Gothic masterpiece can leave you feeling somewhere between awed, bored and conflicted on the feelings scale.
If you find yourself hitting that last emotion, there’s a good chance it’s been triggered by the unease one can feel when a religion celebrates humility, charity and acceptance with gold, marble and big spiky fences.
Kevin Bauman has a remedy for atheists and faitheists alike. His book, Small Churches, is a charming, funny and haunting homage to the humblest houses of God. Bauman captures the earnest – if dilapidated – character of these buildings with a level of respect that borders on the tender. His photos seem to recognise that these unassuming buildings, standing stoically in overgrown fields, by gas stations and on bleak stretches of road, are still places of devotion – as meaningful and holy to its people as any gold-encrusted basilica.