Alongside bottled cocktails, a well-stocked bookcase and scores of empty takeaway boxes, jigsaw puzzles are a lockdown staple. And who among us wouldn’t love to be lounging on a Sydney beach on a midsummer day, rather than stuck at home in the middle of winter? Enter Salty Gallery. Its founder, Sydney landscape photographer Dharma Bendersky, typically sells large prints of seascapes for the home and office. But late last year, Bendersky began turning the prints into 1000-piece jigsaw puzzles.
“I started selling puzzles last year as a way to share my photography in a new way and at a lower cost point,” Bendersky tells Broadsheet. “With Sydney in and out of lockdown last year, and with people looking for ways to pass the time, I saw an opportunity to start using my images in other ways, and I was certain that a little escapism to their favourite beach through the medium of a puzzle would be popular. Last summer, on a 40-degree-plus day, I did a photoshoot from a helicopter and ended up with some fantastic aerial shots of the eastern-suburb beaches.”
The result is a capsule of six puzzles, each featuring a different scene: Bondi Beach, Bronte Beach, Coogee Beach, Little Bay and Sydney Harbour. They show bathers sunning themselves on the sand, the whitewash of waves crashing on the shore and the towers of the CBD fading into the background of Sydney Harbour’s sprawling blues. Clocking in at 75 centimetres by 50 centimetres, completing these puzzles is no small feat. “They’re very challenging,” says Bendersky.
“I’ve had a lot of requests for different beaches, from the South Coast to Noosa, and seeing how popular this current collection is, I do plan on adding to my range of locations ASAP,” says Bendersky. “As soon as lockdown is over, I plan to do another flight to get more photos of other Sydney beaches.”
The puzzles will set you back $59 with free shipping.