Cali Balles is a graduate of the Material Art and Design program at Ontario College of Art and Design, and studied glass at Sheridan College of Crafts and Design. She is a recipient of the Royal Bank of Canada Award for glass and has received support from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. Cali lives and works in downtown Toronto, where she creates sculptural glass pieces and commissioned work.
Natural forms and city structures shape my work; I explore the interaction between them. Using photography as a research tool, I document and study these images at close range. Referencing these images, I assemble glass sculptures and branches, fronds and tendrils, which become a vocabulary for composition. Working in clear glass, the focus on form and structure predominates. By combining various glass techniques I attempt to illustrate the details of my environment.
Beneath Toronto’s streets lies a labyrinth of hidden rivers and buried neighbourhoods; one such river runs below my home. These rivers are intertwined with the city’s infrastructure, absorbed into storm drains and other systems. My recent work explores this intersection of nature and city.