Nothing conveys the spiritual struggle between good and evil and the rewards and consequences of heaven and hell more than a Hieronymus Bosch painting. The prevalent theme of death and the afterlife in his art has always been something I've wanted to incorporate into my work. A recent commission for a Box of Astaroth came up and I found a beautiful antique glass panelled box. Rather than board them up I decided to fit the two outer panels from Bosch's triptych 'The Garden of Earthly Delights' with very pleasing results.
The Box of Astaroth is my own interpretation of the classic Astro Ball Cabinet. All of the components are antique and pre 1890. Rather than spending hours ageing wood and distressing metal I spent the valuable time sourcing the parts to create something completely unique and undeniably old.
As well as the standard 'ball to glass' routine I have added a spirit bell. Once the spirit it present, the brass bell is hung inside the cabinet and it will ring back in response to questions in typical séance fashion. The bell can be substituted for any item that makes a noise such as a music box or tambourine, even whispers or the faint sound of a child singing. Of course, you can still perform the 'sponge ball into glass routine' if channelling the dead isn't your thing. Like all magic, once you have great mechanics the only limit is your imagination.
This particular piece has a cremation urn and the doll of an old man, the spirit of the man is summoned and asked to place the doll inside the urn. The eeriest part of this performance is hearing the scuffs, knocks and bangs as the doll climbs into the urn, all out of sight of course. The drawer also contains photographs the a genuine receipt for the purchase of a grave plot dated from the early 1900s.
Since I posted the images and demo video on my Facebook page last year I have had a huge influx of requests for 'The Box of Astaroth' and a waiting list is growing! If you'd like to join the 'Box of Astaroth' waiting list please contact me here and I will offer the boxes as they become available.