Sneezing, Signage and

the Nature of Nurture

signage Swain organic

When your Signs are Organically Overgrown

nature art signs

Water droplets.
Can you see them?
Nature responding to signage about Nature

graffitti water

More watery signage:
Graffitti plus reflections of the storm-water canal

My Muse-in-Chief is my dear departed Dad, David Swain. He would have loved the ease of using a smartphone to photograph quirky

signs. He cartooned and light-versed his way through ten years of his own ‘One Thing and Another‘ column in the Canberra Times.

(I just thought to Google the lovely compilation book he made of these columns and here ’tis on Amazon: One Thing and Another).

He would often single out an oddly constructed newspaper headline and turn it into a witty verse and cartoon combo. In later years, he walked around his home turf of Bondi Beach, photographing signage, graffitti and other oddities as jumping-off points for poetry.

Dearie me. Here I am in 2017, seven years after his death, captivated by the art, humour, nature and wording of local signage and graffitti.

graffitti signs black history

White Australia has a Black History

Once again, I notice, with a funny mix of pride and shyness, that I am my father’s daughter (see Chip Off the Old Block, for starters).

graffitti street art Swain

Underpass Man

I’ve started to have sneezing fits too, just like him.

sign art photo

Backwards Fortress

What signs do you notice

around your local area?

sign graffitti Swain


How might they feed into your creativity?


And… one more question…how much of repeating parental patterns is Nature and how much Nurture? What do you think?