The Commit No Nuisance signs are arguably some of the earliest sanctioned street art in Melbourne. They were painted in the mid 19th century in the alleys of the city centre and similar signs appear in London where their colour scheme is reversed.
The meaning behind the message is usually taken at face value however there is a theory that it was intended to forbid public urination in the era before public toilets. Despite the serious intent of these signs, there was clearly room for small sartorial flourishes surrounding the word ‘No’.
Although the signs are intended to read “Commit No Nuisance”, it has been common practice by anonymous members of the public to illicitly paint out the ‘No’, leave the sign to communicate the opposite of its intent. The first time I came across one of these signs, as a teenager down a cobblestone alley, it cajoled me to Commit Nuisance, which delighted my heart no end.
This Commit No Nuisance cross stitch kit was been produced as part of Craffiti, an exhibition by Sayraphim Lothian of soft sculpture and other hand crafted artworks inspired by some of Melbourne’s diverse street art scene.
This is a limited edition kit with only a few remaining - get in quick!