Posted by Amaranth
World Goth Day “This Is Goth”
World Goth Day is almost upon us once again, now in its fifth year – what started out as a bit of fun off the back of a BBC Radio 6 programme, it has now become a worldwide sensation attracting attention from some of the most unlikeliest of places. This year it has sparked the imagination of Adam Ditchburn, Learning and Interpretation Officer from St Albans Museums who have decided to run a month long exhibition entitled “This is Goth”.
The Museum of St Albans was opened in 1898 and is a building with some beautiful Victorian features. The Museum charts the history of the town from the Mediaeval period onwards, as well as hosting temporary displays on a variety of subjects. In the past these exhibitions have ranged from Ancient Egyptians to Stanley Kubrick and now include the Gothic Subculture.
I attended the opening night last Thursday and was pleased to see a number of familiar names and faces in the exhibit. Goth is a topic that tends to get quite a bit of limelight in the mainstream these days – but so little of it tends to draw from and relate to actual Goths. So this was a nice deviation. The exhibition gave insight both into the finery and external side of goth – to the more personal thoughts with video interviews and poetry as well as information about S.O.P.H.I.E.
On loan was one of my favourite outfits which I thought typified the beauty of the traditional Goth: a Sinister top, skirt and veil with an Alchemy Gothic necklace – all of which I got from The Gothic Shop which tends to make up a lot of my wardrobe!
If you could create any outfit from The Gothic Shop’s catalogue, what items would you put together? Send me the item links from www.the-gothic-shop.co.uk with a little description of how you would wear them and my favourite will get sent this lovely set of Sinister chokers from The Gothic Shop! Email you outfit choices to email@example.com by 20th May.
I caught up with Adam to find out a little more about the exhibition:
What was your reason behind the Goth exhibition? How did you hear about World Goth Day?
I’ve known about World Goth Day for some time, having spent many nights at Spiders Nightclub in Hull. The event inspired us to put on some events so we put out a call for ideas and contributions, we had an amazing response, so much so that a couple of events would not be enough. We made the decision to do video interviews exploring people’s experiences and to have a display demonstrating the creativity of the Goth Community, through art and fashion.The thing I really hoped we’d achieve is that visitors to the museum who might not know very much about Goth scene, or may have preconceptions about Goths will be able to learn something and walk out of the museum with a positive idea about ‘Goths’
You did a punk exhibition too, how did that come about?
This exhibition was on show in 2011 and the team behind it had been inspired by the Sex Pistols gig at the Hertfordshire College of Art and Design in 1975. The show was called ‘Satellite’ inspired by the Sex Pistols song, on which John Lydon had the following to say : “It’s the story of the travelling nonsense, around the satellite towns of London … all those godforsaken new towns: Milton Keynes, St Albans.”
What have been people’s reactions to the exhibition so far?
Really positive so far, several visitors have identified the fact that they did not previously realise the discrimination that Goths have suffered, e.g. Sophie Lancaster. They have also commented on how wonderful the clothing we have on display is, especially the your dress which one visitor said reminded him of “a really cool version of Queen Victoria’s mourning outfits”
What have you learnt about Goth though curating this exhibition?
I have personally learned a great deal, especially about how varied the Goth Community is, how it is inclusive of lots of different types of people, ideas and tastes. For example, some of our contributors are very much part of the 1980s scene and are lead by the music, while others have been inspired by Victorian Gothic Literature. The overriding theme though has been one of creativity and friendliness.
The Exhibition runs until the end of May with a number of evens throughout the months, from a screening of Tim Burton’s Frakenweenie to suitably themed talks.