Sydney Locked Down – A City at night without its people.

When you start a project with good intentions and then life happens, it’s best to keep people who have expressed prior interest in the loop.

Elsewhere on this blog site you’ll find two accounts, from April and May, which describe two different experiences of night life, one a piece on country town impacts of COVID-19, on small business, as seen through the eyes of restaurant owners. It was written on the night of the first weekend when restaurants were closed to diners, except for takeaway. You’ll read the effects on their business esses and hear their stories as told on that first terrifying weekend. (I am happy to report that in part because of that blog piece, picked up by the local radio station and then one of the popular Facebook sites locally, all four businesses have thus far survived, indeed a couple actually looking quite good. The community responded magnificently, supported the new business norm, and they live on.

Jack stands at the entrance to his Thai Restaurant, New Jack Style, in Bowral’s Southern Highlands, without any customers on the first night of Stage 3 Restrictions, March 31st.

The second is a sequence of documentary walks made through the City of Sydney during April this year, recording the streets, meeting places and buildings devoid of people, or indeed, purpose. A City with no people has no meaning. Hopefully that’s what some of those pictures show.

Central Station, with no passengers at 6.00pm.

A book of the Sydney pictures is now almost ready for printing, but it’s running a month late. The Title is Sydney Locked Out A Photographic Account of the City by night without its people.

It is planned to launch the book on or about July 1st. Copies will be available at $45.00 inc GST, plus postage shortly thereafter. It will be approximately 110 pages, 210 x 210mm, semisoft cover. Soon the website will have a trading platform that will enable you to order it, pay for it and to get an order confirmation with despatch details. It’s me that’s been the laggard here, but friends and colleagues have reached out to help get this done, something just a bit beyond my pay grade

I’d like especially to thank Des Crawley, Rob Smith and Ray Finneran, for their help in closing in on the visual direction of the story, and for the willingness of other much more experienced photographers and authors than I to bring it finally together. All being well it will go for press proof this next week.

John Swainston
Bowral – June 11th 2020.