David Severn 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.
His latest book, “Whitby Goth Weekend”, is due to be released this Halloween. For the project, David travelled to the North East coast to capture the Gothic event. Whitby Goth Weekend is a twice-yearly gathering of the Goth community in the popular northern seaside destination. 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.
“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.”