Léann Herlihy

A Glove is a Gift, 2017 photo Amber Baruch


Léann Herlihy is a performance artist based in Ireland. Her practice attends to the intersection of invisible power structures; addressing the position of the female body as a focal point of repressed histories and political desires. Herlihy’s performances are raw, as she pares back her gestures to pure bodily instinct and improvisation. In her work, clothing is regarded as an object rather than a consecrated costume – simultaneously concealing and exposing the performance artist. Enigmatic in form, she often accentuates these objects in relation to her body, exploring their history as she sieves through their multiple readings. The use of endurance in Herlihy’s practice highlights the exaggerated protraction of time, all of which becomes enhanced by the symbiotic relationship with the audience; where the very act of their continued observation, in itself becomes a ritualised behaviour.