By Sabina Mollot
Regina Walker, a Stuyvesant Town resident and psychotherapist, has released a book of photos called Through My Eyes. The book, which is done in the style of a photo journal, was published in May by Inner Child Press, and includes around 50 images, mostly cityscapes taken in New York City.
Some were taken in the author’s own neighborhood.
Walker, who’s always taken photos and has shown her work at spaces in New York (Ceres Gallery, Staten Island Museum) as well as Florida and California, said she had been approached by the publisher with the idea of doing a photo journal.
“It’s kind of like looking at someone’s diary, but something to see as well as to read,” she said.
Through My Eyes, in an online summary, has also been described as being about grief. While that, Walker acknowledged, “sounds depressing,” she stressed that it really is more about change, which, by definition, includes confronting the void of what was.
“I photograph absence,” said Walker. “Change is obviously a given, but what changes also represents the loss of something else. A building may look the same, but things change constantly. There are a few pictures of people, and I feel the same way about that. An hour later they’re not the same person that they were.”
Walker said she hopes others in Stuy Town/Peter Cooper Village will appreciate the book for its images of the complex. Having lived in the complex for over 20 years, Walker noted, “I’ve seen Stuy Town though a lot of changes.”
The book doesn’t chronicle the community’s changes, though in retrospect Walker mused that she wished she would have taken more of the “Stuy Town of the old.”
One recent photo, of a neighbor’s window, was taken because of the way it reflected the Manhattan skyline, including the Chrysler building. For each photo, there is also a bit of writing by Walker. “Some are haikus, some are poems, some are short essays,” she said. Then there are also quotes from others she finds inspiring.
While it just came out and is now available for purchase on Amazon ($25, paperback), it’s already gotten a good review from Walker’s neighbor, rock singer Garland Jeffreys. A supportive blurb from Jeffreys was featured in the book.
“Regina Walker’s photography is evocative and very special and she is one of the ‘hidden gems’ of Stuyvesant Town,” Jeffreys said.
In her psychology practice, Walker focuses on substance abuse and treatment, and said she often encourages creativity among her clients.
“I always try to encourage people to find something that is an outlet for them, whether it’s meditation or drawing,” said Walker. “You don’t have to be good at it. It just has to be something you enjoy.”
She’s also an advocate for walk and talk therapy, rather than traditional in-office counseling.
“Talk therapy is overrated sometimes,” she said. “Not everyone is comfortable sitting in a chair and talking. Not everyone can sit there like Woody Allen and just blah, blah, blah.” One client in particular, she said, actually gets anxiety attacks just from being in an office setting. “There’s a lot of evidence around walking as an anxiety reliever,” she added.
Walker, meanwhile, is already at work on her second book, this one a novel. She also writes articles on the topic of substance abuse and treatment and other health issues for websites like The Fix and Honeysuckle Magazine.