Jamie van Leeuwen is a photojournalist and filmmaker, based in Melbourne.
In this clip, Jamie talks about his personal creative response to the pandemic, and his belief that the collected work of the public is a far more realistic measure of life during the pandemic than sensationalistic news stories.
Predominantly used to covering sport, Jamie found his day-to-day work disrupted as the COVID-19 pandemic impacted Australia and Melbourne in March 2020, shutting down sporting events and venues.
Attracted by the surreal and frightening sight of Melbourne's empty streets, Jamie started visually documenting the effect of the pandemic on the urban life and environment of Melbourne, using both stills camera and drone.
Through careful negotiation, Jamie gained access to areas such as the State Library of Victoria and the MCG and city streets after curfew.
He created the Australia Locked Down website to publish his work, and then he opened up contributions to the public nationally, effectively turning the website into a vibrant visual archive of life during the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia.