Photographer’s Therapeutic Strolls Give Rise to Abundant Creativity and New Photo Exhibition at Willow Towers
When practical matters give way to artistic inspiration, who can really say what forces are at play? For Larchmont photographer Thomas Gerspach, an aching back and long therapeutic walks to a nearby park inspired a stunning collection of more than 1,500 photographs. Shot over a two-year period at Larchmont Manor Park, selections of Gerspach’s work will be on display for residents through November 2022 at Willow Towers Assisted Living at United Hebrew of New Rochelle.
“From 2017 to 2019 I took an estimated 1,500 photos in Larchmont’s Manor Park,” said photographer Thomas Gerspach. “I usually walk and photograph there in the mornings when it is especially peaceful. The park changes with the Earth’s rotation and my intent was to capture how the light and shadows create different, fun, interesting and dramatic new images.”
For many residents who grew up in the area, the exhibition will trigger happy memories of time spent in the local park. The images can’t help but spark imagination and conversation, says Nora O’Brien, DPT, executive director, Willow Towers Assisted Living and Willow Gardens Memory Care.
“Photography is a wonderful medium for engaging our residents and their families,” “Whether they show far off lands or places that are close to home, these images stimulate the senses and offer the opportunity to look at sights in a new way. We’re grateful to Thomas for sharing his collection with us.”
It was during a trip to Rome to visit his daughter when Gerspach discovered that walking really helped his sore back. So, a new healthy habit was born and the three-mile round trip walk to Manor Park became an almost daily occurrence for him.
“Not only did those daily walks improve my physical health, the park’s splendor and serenity soothed my soul,” Gerspach explains.
The soothing effect of his work is another element expected to resonate with residents, notes O’Brien. “For residents with limited mobility, the photographs bring the outside in. In our increasingly technologically-connected world, these images offer a peaceful window to the natural world, and give us a chance to pause and reflect.”
And that’s just what the artist intended. Says Gerspach:
“I love to walk the park throughout the year. Every season brings a change to the landscape and the park changes its attire to meet the sun, wind, rain, and snow, just like we do.”