In her ongoing series “By the Water”, photographer Sherrie Nickol explores daily life at beaches located within the five boroughs of New York City. Coney Island, Fort Tilden and Jacob Riis Park in Queens, Great Kills Park and Midland Beach on Staten Island, Manhattan Beach, Plum Beach in Brooklyn, Orchard Beach in the Bronx are just some of the spots where New Yorkers love to take a dip when the weather turns hot. Although they were shot just in the summer of 2016, Sherrie’s simple and sunny black and white images of people relaxing, chatting and having fun beautifully evoke the mood of a bygone decade.
“I first began photographing by the seaside during summers in Brittany, France,” explains Sherrie, “and in recent years expanded the project to New York City. Daily life at a French beach has particular and specific themes, which make for a great juxtaposition with the urban seaside centers of New York.
“Beaches attract all types of people, and this is especially apparent in New York City, possibly the most diverse urban center on earth. What excited me particularly when I began to explore the urban seaside was the multi-ethnicity of families, teens and friends all enjoying their time by the ocean, which was only a subway ride away.”
Sherrie, who has been examining the relationships between people and their environments for the past few years, is a great fan of Picasso (like her, he spent a couple of summers in Dinard, Brittany, in the 1920s) and Matisse (she finds his energy very inspiring).
“My goal is to involve the viewer in the scenes I document,” the photographer continues, “with the hope that they will stop for a moment in their day and lose themselves in the story I am relaying.”
Sherrie studied photography at the University of Cincinnati and later at the International Center of Photography in New York City. She has worked for various commercial clients: Canon, The Wall Street Journal, Wal-Mart, Philips, GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi, Bayer, Columbia University, JP Morgan Chase and YMCA. Her photographs are in the permanent collection of the Bibliotheque Nationale de France in Paris, and in numerous private collections in the United States. Check out another ongoing series by Sherrie Nickol – Face to Face – that explores the inner confidence of women of all ages.
Images used with permission.