When I started developing the idea for an outdoor installation made of bricks and seeds (See previous posts), I began by thinking of a material that could represent the United Kingdon and came up with bricks. Not only they are very common all around this country, but they come from its soil. As someone from overseas, I can also add that the first British obejcts I saw in my country were bricks. Yes, bricks made in the United Kingdom.
I found and translated to english, a text by Carlos Alberto Cerqueira Lemos, Universidade de São Paulo.
It provides evidence of the use of British architectural elements in the XIX Century in São Paulo, sustained by the fact that ships needed to be loaded with something to cross over the Atlantic ocean and return to Britain filled with unmanufactured goods.
"What enabled this sudden invasion of news was the cheap freight, if any, charged that the ships arrived here to return clogged rubber, sugar, leather, dried fish, cocoa and especially coffee. All building materials came as ballast necessary to correct waterline of the vessels. So, our material life benefited from the convenience of commerce and stability of transatlantic cargo.
Bricks came from abroad, English laminated bricks. The cement andpure lime came in barrels. Cared-tiles, mosaics, tiles,Marseille tiles, marble slabs, slate. And iron sheet, Moiretonnes and galvanized. Plates of pure zinc, copper brass. Pipes, tubes,shackles. Wrought or cast iron railings. Wallpaper. Glass flat planeor cut. Hinges, locks, door handles. Paints and coatings and mastigues.Even wood, the celebrated "Pine Riga", which had already benefited by hand toolsindustrial mints here never suspected.(...)"
(most of it is in portuguese, sorry!)