Whitby Goth Weekend photobook

Whitby Goth Weekend photobook



A beautiful softbound book of photographs made during Whitby Goth Weekend, including a new essay about the work by artist and writer, Wayne Burrows. Featuring speciality papers throughout, the cover is screen printed and embossed with a subtle brocade pattern, evocative of the ancient ammonite fossils found on the beaches at Whitby. A specially commissioned linocut artwork of Whitby Abbey by Becky Wood graces the reverse.

Book details

Whitby Goth Weekend - Photographs by David Severn

Essay by Wayne Burrows

152 x 217 mm

32 pages

Printed on speciality papers throughout

Screen printed cover artwork

Singer sewn


About the work

Whitby Goth Weekend is a twice-yearly gathering of the Goth community 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 Moors 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.

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