No Vacancy

No Vacancy is a poster for a homelessness campaign. It asks: “Is housing a fundamental human right or a luxury for the privileged?”

Rick Poynor writes of the poster: “…elements overlap and intersect to form an intricately constructed message, at once dense but diffuse, that is both forthright in its declaration of what ought to happen — housing for all of Brisbane’s citizens — and cuttingly ironic in its depiction of the actual state of affairs in the city. Queensland represents itself as the ‘Sunshine State’, extending a warm welcome to all visitors, but this generosity is withheld from some of its less fortunate citizens for whom there is ‘no vacancy’ in Brisbane. Those who live outdoors experience all kinds of weather conditions, not only sunshine, sometimes with serious consequences for their health. Now there is a metaphorical sense in which the city authorities, too, are ‘raining’ on the homeless for reasons implicitly connected by the poster with financial gain and a political agenda that prioritises the needs and sensibilities of the affluent. What makes the poster so engaging is the way it clothes these ideas in the most seductive and suggestive visual forms.”