On the Couch with Tyson Savanah

Tyson Savanah photo by Emily RussellWho is Tyson Savanah?
This is Tyson Savanah. AKA The Lanternist (sculptural light artist) or Father Marker (art, design and illustration)

What would you do differently from what you do now?
If I chose another occupation or life direction? I’d be an animator or scuba diver

Who inspires you and why?
I am inspired by a number of people. My children (twin daughters Aska and Luna age 5) are a big source of inspiration. They fuel me to do what I love and I love their creativity and imagination. I am inspired by illustrators and artists: MC Escher – a Dutch graphic artist who made mathematically inspired woodcuts, lithographs, and mezzotints. James Jean – a Taiwanese-American visual artist working primarily in painting and drawing. Mike Judge – animator and illustrator, creator of Beavis and Butthead. Mike Mignola – comic book artist, creator of Hell Boy and has worked with marvel and DC many many more.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I love to use my art to raise awareness for the conservation of endangered and threatened species, particularly endemic Australian species.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
My favourite country I have visited is Mexico. I love the food, cultures, history, people, landscape and language. I was heavily inspired whilst travelling there. Cant wait to go back.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I live in Melbourne, so when people come to town I like to show them the amazing food we have in the city and surrounds. Lebanese and African food are my favourite at the moment. As for location-based attractions, I have shown people the amazing street art of Melbourne. Originally, I am from the Mornington Peninsula, so I love to show the natural beauty of my home town, ocean beaches, central hills and wildlife.

What are you currently reading?
Bass Culture: When Reggae Was King – By Lloyd Bradley. An in depth look at the history and culture of Jamaican music.

What are you currently listening to?
King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard’s new album, Omnium Gatherum – Melbourne based psychedelic rock band.

Happiness is?
Creating art and my healthy family.

What does the future hold for you?
Making more lantern sculptures, painting more murals and developing a body of work for my first solo exhibition focusing on different global folkloric stories and deities.

Tyson’s work can be seen at the City of Monash’s EMERGE Festival – which will be presented at the Mount Waverley Community Centre Gardens from 24 – 8 June 2022. For more information, visit: www.monash.vic.gov.au for details.

Image: Tyson Savanah – photo by Emily Russell