Making the Alternative Souvenir of London

Today I spent the whole day working on my souvenir for the Alternative Souvenir project in Critical & Contextual Studies.

Inspiration and the idea

I had already before today chosen Brick Lane as my source of inspiration and had gone there to take pictures. My idea was to do something around the palimpsest theme we discussed in class the other week.

The souvenir

When it comes to the actual souvenir, I wanted to create a brick with graffiti and symbols related to Brick Lane’s history and present and layer them on top of each other. But to start with so needed to sort out the brick first. Luckily in the backyard of the house I live in there is a pile of abandoned bricks. I brought one in and washed it in the shower with a brush and soap.

Next I had to paint it because it was a white brick and I wanted to use the iconic brick color for this project. I used acrylic paints.

The brick being painted
Painting the details

After the brick was painted I could start placing the symbols and pictures I had researched. I kinda knew what elements the brick would have on it but some I just needed to research as I went on.


I also needed to research how to do graffiti. I found these tips quite helpful in creating my own small graffiti.

The graffiti instructions I found on Google

I first drew my graffiti on paper using those tips and then cut out a stencil which I then used to paint it on the brick.

The stencil I used
Final product

I’m quite happy with what I managed to create today but I still need to do a few things to it. The symbol of French Huguenots got swallowed by the graffiti so I will have to paint that again in a place where it is more visible.

Where I got to today

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