However, this slightly eccentric practitioner, adds, ‘I plan to challenge this by creating images that are intriguing, humorous, thought provoking and fun. I believe everyone can relate to my art in some way or another.’
Tyson’s work is undoubtedly accessible. Creating minuscule worlds, he crafts tiny figures – known as Roy’s People – into often implausible situations, many of which are to be shown at a new exhibition opening next month in east London, Street Life.
The Essex-born artist’s Lilliputian landscapes set his figurines amongst objects that to our big, human eyes, are just as tiny – snails, golfballs and cigarette ends populate and furnish the strange scenes, which often mirror the real ones they sit within.
For all their tweeness, Tyson’s miniatures seem to be in a constant state of battle or strife – little CSI men investigate a fag-butt crime scene; gunmen take aim at an approaching snail; golfers face a cruelly large ball, handicapped beyond belief by their infinitesimal stature.
It’s a very playful, basic surrealism – the figures are humorous in their mishaps, yet also poignant in their struggles.
At the mid-point of the exhibition on 17 April, the public is invited to share in these struggles by searching for the little people, who will be infiltrating Hoxton and Shoreditch. Dubbed a ‘little man-hunt’, the event is being organised in collaboration with homelessness organisation the Big Issue, aiming to raise awareness of the charity.
The gallery says that you’ll know when you’ve found a ‘Roy’s Person’ (as opposed to, presumably, a Borrower, or a cast-member from a Honey I Shrunk The Kids remake) by their little tag, detailing their name and ‘personality’.
Alongside the little figures, the exhibition will also present Tyson’s taxidermy skills, in the form of butterflies, flown like kites by their little captors.
Roy’s People – Street Life runs from 3 – 28 April at Curious Duke Gallery, 173 Whitecross Street London EC1Y. Progress of the Little Man Hunt can be followed on Twitter at @CuriousDuke #LittleManHunt.