People Who Puzzle, a new Australian puzzle brand, has released a mega-detailed 1000-piece puzzle called “Lockdown”. Illustrated by young Aussie artist, Dan Wakehurst, the artwork took over 100 hours to draw by hand and includes myriad intricate details and humorous observations from Australia’s 2020 experience with the Covid-19 pandemic.
With over 60 characters scattered throughout a comically illustrated urban scene, and a further 20 appearing virtually in ‘the cloud’, the puzzle captures a broad range of experiences that many Australians will relate to.
People are depicted engaging in activities that became synonymous with staying at home during lockdown: working and studying from home, baking, binge-watching TV, gardening, receiving home deliveries, walking the dog, hand sanitising, dancing on TikTok, and of course, jigsaw puzzles. Other playful highlights include: a grounded fleet of aircraft (satirically called ‘Emu Air’), people on video calls (including a man in only a business shirt and underpants), and a startled man being issued a fine by police while eating a kebab alone on a park bench (referring to the bizarre headline that sprung up in April during Sydney’s lockdown).
There’s even a panic buyer in a hazmat suit, gas mask and rubber gloves, surrounded by stacks of canned food, rolls of toilet paper and N95 face masks.
It was important to Wakehurst that the artwork exhibited both humour and empathy. “2020 has been a strange and difficult year for everyone, and I think we’ve all experienced degrees of anxiety or frustration. I wanted the artwork to reflect the absurdities that we’ve all been through together, in a humorous way.”
A freelance creative professional with a background in film, media, advertising and technology, Wakehurst, 29, from Sydney, experienced a decline in work when Covid-19 hit Australia in March, and decided to try his hand at starting a new business. Jigsaw puzzles were an obvious choice; they were a favourite childhood pastime, and were experiencing a global resurgence in popularity, due to lockdowns. Prime Minister Scott Morrison even declared puzzles “essential supplies” earlier this year.
People Who Puzzle’s unique “Lockdown” 1000-piece puzzle comes in a standard edition made entirely in Australia, and a premium edition, made in Europe, for serious puzzle enthusiasts. It is available exclusively from peoplewhopuzzle.com.auand ships Australia wide.