CLEVELAND, Ohio – In the past two years, people have spent more time at home due to the coronavirus pandemic. Bridget Caswell focused on capturing a slice of this life in her Porch Portrait Project – soon to be published in a new book called “Homebody.”
“Homebody” features the photographer’s neighbors in Collinwood through nearly 50 portraits taken a year ago, followed by a second portrait a year later. The book still includes quotes and details from the people featured in the project, showing how the pandemic has affected people’s lives.
“I did the porch portraits like several other photographers did at the start of the pandemic, and I decided a year later that I wanted to follow up. I wanted to see where everyone was then, ”said Caswell. “The idea for the book was just to see, as a community, how we survived the pandemic. “
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The porch portrait project was not Caswell’s first dive into his neighborhood documentation; she said she has photographed Collinwood for the past 15 years, regularly taking photos of neighbors and sharing them in an Instagram series called “People in my Neighborhood.” (She also brings her photography skills to her work as a photographer at the NASA Glenn Research Center.)
“I love to walk around and document my community,” Caswell said. “It will not stop.”
Caswell said she focused the creation of the “Homebody” community on her production, with an introduction written by Darlene English and a layout and design by Robert Gatewood.
Caswell’s book is available for pre-order online, and she will celebrate its release with an exhibition at the Photocentric art gallery on Waterloo Road. Some of Caswell’s photographs will be on display, as well as paintings by Tim Callaghan which also feature Collinwood.
The opening of the art exhibition will begin at 5 pm on Friday January 7th as part of the neighborhood’s “Walk All Over Waterloo” event and is expected to run until Friday February 19th. Caswell said she is planning events for each weekend of the show, including book signings and artist talks.
“I think it’s important to tell the story where you are at,” Caswell said. “I’m really grateful to everyone who participated, who trusted me.”
See more photographs of Caswell on his Instagram, instagram.com/bridgetrcaswell.
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