Joan Perlman – Visual Artist ‘The Drowning Pool’

Los Angeles based visual artist Joan Perlman came to Iceland through dreams, and has been going back regularly for 20 years. In her most recent project she focusses on The Drowning Pool in Iceland’s old open valley parliament, Thingvellir, where, around a open neck of water, women were once executed by drowning for crimes often of sexuality and moral behaviour like incest, adultery and infanticide. For this project she connected with the Irish composer Linda Buckley who wrote a piece of music to score Joan’s visual representation of “Drowning Pool”

In this conversation Linda unpacks Joan’s work, finds out what brought her to Iceland, what inspires her, and how they are both, as artists, drawn to Iceland’s story of landscape and people for their work. Linda’s exploration of the female voice in ‘Mother’s Blood, Sisters Songs’ resonates with Joan’s work and her witness with places that speak of hidden stories, voices and lives, particularly women’s lives and stories. 

Trailer for Joan Perlman & Linda Buckley’s ‘Drowning Pool’