Fi Henshall was born in Fishguard in south west Wales in 1981.
She did a sculpture degree at Falmouth College of Arts from which she graduated in 2004,
and then worked for a recycling company, as a labourer on an organic farm and finally as a waitress.
She taught herself to carve marionettes, but found the idea of figures which could be
made to perform, and to act out a scene by anyone at all, even more appealing.
She has been making automata since 2009.
She works mainly in wood, old tins and small items of the sort found at the back of sheds,
having a fascination with the use to which beautifully made but now often obsolete things may be put.
The pieces have become increasingly colourful and have recurring themes of naked women,
harpies, birds, buildings and bikes.
She is obsessive about detail and always finds it hard to stop, as she tries to illustrate
a little of the everyday, the wry and the weird, getting further and further drawn in by
all the possibilities, trying to create small pockets of time from which people
might briefly forget to emerge.
Recently she has been adding dynamos to her work to run sound and light- the range of
things that can be achieved merely by the turning of a handle intrigues her.
She strives to create automata which appear haphazard yet elegant and thoughtful,
both aesthetically and mechanically.