Lives and works in Minneapolis, MN
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 expanded upon a practice derived through the pandemic by creating a month-long immersive ceremony that illuminates ancestral, descendant, and earth wisdom channeled through the medium of a flower: the rose. Get to know A.P. Looze: check out this Q&A they did here.
The core of my creative process is devoted to healing and self-actualization. I play and research alone, in a room or in nature, unlocking the secrets, tricks, and mysteries of materials, myths, grief, ecology, ancestry, and the cosmos. I use a diverse set of artistic practices to draw connections between themes. Art making is a multi-dimensional pilgrimage for me, in which I risk losing the safety of the familiar for the sake of new learning.
I am invested in making rituals and work that can be a common meeting ground with and for others who are also seeking to uproot violent histories, who are recovering from the cultural plague of narcissism, who are invested in building a post-white supremacy reality.
I want to contribute to a world that values love and connection, treats art making as sacred practice, and contributes to the emotional, psychic, and physical well-being of myself, others, and the earth.
Heart Strings: A Beading Ritual (2021) is a month-long contemplative and embodied ritual conducted both in solitude and with others intended to foster connection to the body and the earth using specific parts of the rose.
In the formless days of the pandemic, I began stringing rosehips. It turned into a private ritual: first soaking the rosehips to soften them, and then ending the day by stringing them onto strings of various lengths. Prayers, mantras, and songs came to me through this mundane act, and I was moved to tears, thinking of my lineage, my body, our collective body, the hardship of the pandemic, and the trauma and genocide this country was founded on. I was tending to the sacred work of grief. Without realizing it, I had recreated an ancestral practice that was made clear to me later while researching the rosary.
Before the 59-bead rosary was indoctrinated into the Catholic church, rosaries were strung to be whatever length people found necessary. Before Catholicism, prayer beads were strung from gathered flowers and seeds in honor of the mother goddesses of Paleolithic and pre-Christian times.
Stringing rosehips has brought me in closer contact with my ancestors who prayed down toward the earth to honor the goddesses of the land who provided them with life. When I string these beads, I am reminded of the deep and atrocious violence the Catholic church has inflicted upon so many cultures and people, the way crosses were hammered into the ground as a means to seize land from indigenous people. With each bead, I carry forth the intention of being a better steward to this land and its first peoples, and I thank the wisdom of the rose itself.
For Heart Strings, I brought my materials into a solitary backyard studio in my neighborhood. I combined days of stringing beads alone, with days open to practice with others. I invited people to sit with me and shared instructions about how to string the rosehips, then let the beading itself guide the interaction. I asked how people connect to time, ancestors, or descendants. Participants could either take the rosehips home with them or leave them in the space. As the strings accumulated, I hung them in the studio, creating an installation inspired by the month of shared creation and reflection.