For many years, my father was a hairbrush. He, that is the hairbrush, was improbably made of perspex. The real thing died before I got to know him, so I carried this perspex hairbrush around, and it became for me the real thing. I used to kid my disbelieving schoolchums that it was wrought out of the cockpit of a Spitfire, since I had read that these things were made of the same material, and Spitfires were honorific objects on the 50s schoolboy totem. Ever since then I have been interested in ancestries, in authenticity, and in reality. I’ve also had a longstanding sympathy for perspex, which I like as a word, as well as a plastic.
John Hartley here