Get to know AOV11 artist, A.P. Looze

Anthonia Eboreime

A.P. Looze (they/them) is a multi-disciplinary artist who surrenders to the unknown and believes in the healing power of the divine. For AOV11, Looze will expand upon a practice derived through the pandemic by creating a month-long immersive ceremony that will illuminate ancestral, descendant, and earth wisdom channeled through the medium of a flower: the rose. Stay tuned for information on how to sign up for a private session in the installation during the month of September. 

Here are a few questions we asked A.P Looze to get to know a little more about him and his project.

1.How does your Artist on the Verge project intersect with your larger body of work and artistic interests?

I feel like my work spans a wide spectrum of emotions and styles, but at the core of each of my pieces is a devotion to healing through embodiment and love.

Right now I am invested in using my artistic practice as a platform to tend to the wounds of intergenerational trauma inherited through the disembodying and loveless violences of whiteness. I ask myself: what do I need to do to interrupt the trauma?

2.How can the act of making art work and the work itself serve as that interruption?

One element of that process for me is creating space for ritual that tends to this pain, and that calls forth love as a healing force. My AOV project is essentially the culmination of a daily ritual of beading rosehips and invoking the wisdom of my ancestors and the wisdom of roses. I learned that the love of my ancestors is always around me and that the rose itself symbolizes love. In Catholicism the rose is a symbol for Mary.  And if you dig deeper into history, Mary is a representation of mother earth. Stringing these rosehips, ingesting the water they soaked in, and administering a daily dose of wild rose flower essence has been an embodied experiment in channeling love.

3. What was your favorite part of envisioning and working on this project?

This project has taken so many twists and turns throughout the pandemic. Things began to settle for me when I realized that this beading practice was potentially a practice of my long ago European ancestors–I’m talking pre-christian, even paleolithic. Long long ago, beads made from flowers and seeds were strung to honor the mother goddesses. Something sent chills up my spine when I made that connection. The contemplative nature of the practice allowed messages and songs inspired by my ancestors and the rose to flow through me. I will be incorporating those messages into the installation in a couple of ways.

Through further research, I came to understand how much paganism and more ancient earth-based spiritual practices survived covertly within the Catholic church. While in christian religions it is more customary to pray upward toward a transcendental god, or upward toward statues of Mary etc., the rosary feels counter to that. It is held in your hands when you pray. The overall energy of prayer feels downward and internal. Even portions of the Hail Mary prayer are derived from pre-christian times. It feels like an ancient earth-based relic that miraculously survived the violent expansion of the Catholic church. And, as I was beading one day, a voice came through that said, “it’s all about touch.” I’ve literally touched every part of this project–I’ve harvested the rosehips from bushes in my neighborhood, I’ve strung every single rosehip, I harvested the rose flowers to make flower essence. There’s something about being in literal contact with the earth that is so essential for healing my relationship to this place and to my white lineage.

4. People are invited to view your installation on xx September xx from 5-7:30.  What do you hope people will take away from the piece?

While I can never control what people will think, my hope is that people may walk away with their own thoughts or reminders of how to connect to their own ancestors. I hope people may think of rituals that they wish to practice that connect them to their lineage and this earth. Perhaps this will inspire people to connect with a specific part of the land in a reverential way.