Audra Balion is an interdisciplinary artist from Saskatoon with a BFA in Studio Art with Great Distinction from the University of Saskatchewan. She works in many art spaces including theatre and film design, comics, puppets, painting, sculpture, and wearable art. Balion has designed for the Saskatoon Opera, puppeteered for Wide Open, joined BAM’s Peephole art installation at Nuit Blanche, created props for the short film “The Tinwife,” and produced book covers for local authors. She also wrote, directed, designed, and choreographed the wordless, puppet-filled performance of “The Duet of the Mermaid and the Mime.”
Balion has won several awards at the Sask Fine Arts Showcase, and has twice won Best of Show Sculpture. One of these awards was for a piece in her series of small sculptures expressing mental illnesses and unfortunate emotions: The Hooligans. Her aim with The Hooligans is to make mental health a more accepted topic of conversation, as well as a less scary “monster” to battle. Monsters are now at the forefront of the artistic works she showcases.
Audra often combines theatre, visual art, and mysterious narratives in her work as seen in her current project “Flight Nineteen.” “Flight Nineteen” is a silent graphic novel that utilizes her theatre-derived knowledge of gesture and design to convey the story. It is set in a fantastical steampunk-like world, a favourite genre in her work, as well as fantasy, science fiction, myth, and surrealism.
To occasionally get out of the studio, Balion enjoys Ukrainian dance, taiko, and parasol duelling.