Gerda's New Bikini: Photo series captures the pride and personality of German bathers

In her series, Gerda's New Bikini, Vancouver photographer Damaris Riedinger focuses on the theme of a 'Strandbad', which is German for a well-maintained public beach on a gated compound. Documenting the people, coming together at Lake Constance in south Germany, she picks out the pride and personality of these bathers while underlining the colourful forms and shapes found along the popular leisure facility.

"Since this particular compound is almost 100 years old, a subculture of bathers and habits emerged over time," says Damaris. "It’s this particular beach that creates a sense of identity for its visitors and familiarity with its regulars. This goes as far as knowing that Gerda has a new bikini or the fact that Herbert prefers to have beef and pork loaf for lunch."

Born and raised at Lake Constance in Germany, Damaris now lives and works as a photographer in Vancouver, British Columbia. Growing up in a big family, photography allowed her to become an observer, following alongside her siblings and documenting whatever activity they were up to.

Her photography focuses on discovering the context between individuality and collectiveness, of seeing a person’s singularity in regard to the groups they are part of. Her images are characterised by colours, as she always tries to find colourful connections in seemingly mundane contexts.