Monday, 7 June 2010

Dave Whatt

Hull Underground original design Dave Whatt for Remould Theatre Company (no date).

It is hard to categorize the Hull-based creative Dave Whatt. He is an accomplished Blues guitarist, a multi-instrumentalist musician and artist, set designer, photographer, graphic designer, illustrator and writer. He is avant-garde, anti- avant-garde, an anti-poet and, he will hate me for this, a poet. I like to think of him as a polyartist, for he is “a master of several unrelated arts” (Kostelanetz, 2001, p. 486) as well as many related ones.

Above: A kid for two farthings by Dave Whatt. This drawing was I assumed, based on a still from the film of the same name directed by Carol Reed in 1955, I believe now however that it is a based on this book cover for the novel of the same name of which the film was an adaptation, written by Wolf Mankowitz:

No doubt Dave Whatt owns a copy.

'Acting' by Dave Whatt

I am not sure about the source for the above picture or the date.

As you can see many of the works here are representational. However there is plenty of his work that I would describe as abstract, recalling the “landscapes” of Yve Tanguy. Unfortunately I do not have a copy of these works. The surreal nature of such works and of his writing made him the ideal founding member of the Hull Surrealist League.

Dave Whatt's website contains examples of his own compositions: music and poetry and a list of his diverse influences that include early nineties rave:

The Plasmatics:

Captain Beefheart:


The Cramps

amongst others! All great bands and artists!

Kostelanetz, R. (2001)
Dictionary of The Avant-Gardes, New York and London: Routledge

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