Whitby Goth Weekend by David Severn - Press release


5 October 2018

For Immediate release

Press Release:

Whitby Goth Weekend - Photographs by David Severn

Published by Beam Editions

Goths around UK prepare to descend on Whitby once again!

A dark and very British seaside tradition is alive and well in the North East coastal town, as Whitby Goth Weekend returns 26th - 28th October 2018.

To mark the upcoming festival and Halloween, David Severn is releasing a book of his documentary photo series celebrating Whitby Goth Weekend. The limited edition book is published by specialist art book publisher Beam Editions.

Whitby Goth Weekend is a twice-yearly gathering of members of the Goth subculture in the popular seaside town on the North East coast. Whitby is a rural town with a great seafaring history, which is bound up in mythology and storytelling. Not only does it have the famous literary connection to Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”, but it’s monastic heritage and location on the edge of the North York Moores strengthens its Gothic character. The weekend attracts the most committed Goths, promenading the cobbled streets and harbour in their magnificent outfits to express their devotion to this rebellious subculture, which emerged in the early 1980’s alongside bands like Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bauhaus and Sisters of Mercy.


The new limited edition book with an essay by Wayne Burrows, presents a compelling edit of 26 images from the series. Severn wittily observes the Gothic invasion of a traditional seaside town, capturing the Goths among the gaiety and simple pleasures of the English seaside. The photographs show the sartorially elegant Goths eating fish and chips, playing in the sea, buying sticks of rock and taking snapshots of each other outside the quaint shopfronts and vernacular signage of the Whitby streets.

“I was initially interested in photographing Goths because it is a subculture I associate with suburban working class towns like my hometown of Mansfield - I was a Goth myself as a teenager - and I am fascinated in how heavy metal and gothic music takes inspiration from the sounds of heavy industry. My Father and Grandfather were coal miners and my previous work has documented life within former mining communities of the Midlands. My motivation to photograph Whitby Goth Weekend stems from all of these things.” - David Severn

The book is accompanied with an essay by artist and writer Wayne Burrows, whose work deals with music cultures, the occult and the blurring of historical fact and fiction. The essay delves into Whitby’s gothic associations, locating the essence of Goth via an exploration of music, literature and history that links the Polynesian adventures of James Cook to Thatcherism and Doom Metal.


About the Photographer

David Severn, 27, is a documentary photographer based in Nottingham. His photography is concerned with the relationship between leisure, work and landscape. Drawn to subjects that echo his experiences growing up in a former mining town, David seeks to capture a sense of place shaped by his memories and cultural background.

David's photographs have been exhibited internationally, including at FORMAT International Photography Festival, Singapore International Photography Festival, Royal Photographic Society International Print Exhibition and the Renaissance Prize. He has worked on assignments for publications including The New York Times, Le Monde, British Red Cross, The Financial Times Weekend Magazine, The Times (London) and MONOCLE. In 2015 David was selected as a winner of the Magnum Photos "30 under 30" award, an international competition open to documentary photographers under 30 years of age covering social issues.

Book details

Whitby Goth Weekend - Photographs by David Severn

Essay by Wayne Burrows

32 pages

Printed on speciality papers throughout

Screen printed cover artwork

Stitched with a purple thread


Published by Beam Editions

Signed, Limited Edition 230 £15

Special edition of 20 with C Type print


Available from: www.beameditions.uk

Beam Editions - About the publisher

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Beam Editions publishes books on contemporary, modern art and photography and specialise in working closely with artists and curators. Every book is designed to illuminate the art and create a compelling narrative about the artists and their ideas so ultimately the reader can see more.

Beam Editions is creatively directed by designers Jonathan Casciani and Oliver Wood.

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