My art focuses on social activism, sexual encounters and gender fluidity. My work is influenced by my self-imposed exile, and investigates intergenerational trauma, violence towards women, war, and displacement, with an analytical view of societal structures, including political strategies and cultural hierarchies. I have an empathic understanding of many of the subjects I explore, delving into my own experiences of trauma and exile. My work explores reclaiming our sexuality and birthrights, as human rites of passage. I tell stories of sex, sexual trauma and taboo. Stories often hidden in shame. I share the stories often hidden in secret, with concealed words of brutal honesty, an honesty that permeates my voice and breaks the silence. I tell the stories of survival, with a raging shaking voice spoken, which give image to rivers of blood and broken words. I speak the stories of the ones who came before, who are no longer able to speak their stories of murder, rape, torture and corruption. I share the stories no one wants to hear; of women attacked as a weapon of war. And, the stories we all want to hear, of kinky sex in a leather dungeon for every voyeur who pretends she doesn’t want to hear. 

I tell these stories through art installations, solo shows, and my performance art collaboration with Zoe Rappaport, a dance artist based in Los Angeles and New York City. Queen V., our co-created rich red copper vulva, stands close to five-foot tall and nearly three-foot wide. Rappaport and I, bring the vulva alive with vagina tales, sensual movement, and original soundscapes invoking sexual fantasies and darkest torments. Queen V. shines in the reflection of the midday sun and casts shadows as dusk falls; the stories of the night are unwoven into sensual poetry spoken in the softest whisper. “When I was young, too young to be on the streets of Pigalle in Montmartre, I saw men dressed as women, and women dressed as men. It was then I knew I wanted to make love to all of them.”

My passion is art and people. My interest is how we intersect art and the community. And, the people who are in between, in between the worlds, in between genders, and in between countries and borders. Borders separate, genders separate, dogmas separate. My work explores the themes of un-separating, the crossing of the borderlands of sexuality.

I share these stories in multi-media art including sound collages, performance art, sculptures, poetry, and stories. I share these stories in a novel, in a memoir; a memoir of a child surviving with scars, both physical and emotional, who finds a way to survive by telling stories and making art. My stories are the stories we all want to know. For the very secretive in all of us a small book is given to voyeurs, with a light and a feather, to read when you are awake, just before you fall asleep into that sensual place, before night comes and sleep becomes your savior.

Artist Statement

Alaura O’Dell is an interdisciplinary artist: a writer, sculptor, musician and performance artist. Her career began in 1981, with the London based avant-garde group, 23 Skidoo. She has collaborated with the visionary, Dr.Timothy Leary, writer, Kathy Acker, and DJ/producer Cheb I Sabbah. Her solo album, Sacred Dreams, was recorded with electronic artist Justin Beck. Between 1983-1993, she was a pivotal member of the influential British experimental video art and music collective Psychic TV, also known as PTV. Her lyrics and liner notes may be found on many of the group’s recordings. O’Dell was a creative collaborator on many PTV projects, including films, music and art performances, and recordings. In the band she performed as a percussionist, sound collagist and vocalist. The band toured throughout Europe, Japan, North America, Mexico and Iceland. They were featured on MTV, The Tube: a British music show, and Spanish TV Show, La Edad De Oro: devoted solely to their performance. Their music festivals performances include: The Berlin Atonal Festival, The Reading Festival and the Finsbury Park Festival, where PTV opened for the headliners, Siouxsie and the Banshees. PTV’s support band in Reykjavik, KUKL, featured the acclaimed musician and composer, Bjork. PTV was featured in the Guinness Book for Records for releasing fourteen albums in eighteen months, a record number.

 

The subject of exile heavily influences O’Dell’s creative work. She, and her family, including her former husband, the artist Genesis P-Orridge, became self-imposed exiles after Scotland Yard raided their home in 1991. The police raid was based on false allegations after an art film, which featured nudity and members of PTV, directed by the filmmaker Derek Jarman, was re-edited without permission for Dispatches, a British TV documentary, which claimed P-Orridge and members of PTV, were involved in Satanism. At the time of the raid O’Dell, and her family, were traveling in Asia. The artist was volunteering with Tibetan refugees in Kathmandu, and performing in Tokyo, after being hired by the Japanese company, Panasonic, to showcase their new equipment. The family did not return to the UK, as they were warned by their lawyer that they would be harassed by the tabloids, and possibly have their children taken into foster care, because of the allegations. The family moved to California in 1992, and settled in the North Bay. O’Dell and P-Orridge separated in 1993, and O’Dell began her solo career. From 1996-2006, she took a sabbatical from the music industry, although she continued to write fiction and non-fiction. In 1996 she founded her company, Sacred Journeys for Women, and for a decade lead groups to sacred sites in Great Britain, Hawaii and Crete, focusing on women’s spirituality and history. In 2013, O’Dell graduated with a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from California Institute of Integral Studies, where she is currently an MFA candidate in the Creative Writing and Consciousness program. She has been featured in RE/Search, and published in Shaman Woman, Mainline Lady: Women’s Writings on the Drug Experience. She is currently working on a novel and memoir.Type your paragraph here.