Mark Schaller ‘Botanicus Fantasticus’ short film by Handmade Films
A touching documentary by director Peter M Lamont of Handmade Films (Australia) exploring the artist life of Mark Schaller. Exceptionally researched, this 10 minute feature explores the creative arts that sequesters into Schaller’s early ROAR days in Fitzroy.
Informed by the natural world, literature and the universe, Schaller takes his painting kit beyond the studio to investigate the trope of ‘artist studying nature’. Like many artists before, Schaller is assuming the role of the romantic, painting en plein air. He is performing painting in the Royal Botanical Gardens, Victoria encapsulated between two worlds; the garden as wild nature and urban interactions and intervention.
Mark Schaller studied fine arts at the Victorian College of the Arts after studying film at Swinburne, and had his first sell-out show at the age of twenty-one. He became a founding member of the renowned Roar Studios in the early 1980s. The group quickly established its enduring reputation as an influential movement that has since won its place in history as the sequel to the figurative expressionist tradition that began at Heide fifty years ago. Since then, Schaller has made his way in the world via his own hand, through painting, sculpture and printmaking.