Leo Day Emmaus College (Park Avenue)
My Mental Refuge Sculpture
Sculpture - Mixed media wire, plaster & ceramic


I am a surfer. In 2020 I broke down in the middle of school and had my first panic-attack. Newly diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, I would get recurring panic attacks everyday… it has impacted me enormously. Although every aspect of my life was consumed somehow the ocean held me together… I have never had a panic attack surfing. My artwork is the ocean protecting me. The clam shell and brain have an analogous relationship to an oyster and its pearl; the clam is the ocean nurturing me, rebuilding my mental-health and protecting it from anxiety.


I cut out and bent chicken wire into the shape of a clam and supported it with thick wire weaved into the mesh. I covered the clam in plaster bandages and waited for it to cure. Creating a thick plaster paste I textured the piece. I finally finished the shell by pouring a thin solution of plaster over the model giving a thin smooth coat. Using online images as reference I made a stylised clay brain over the course of 2 weeks carving final details into the waxy half dry clay. Once completed it was fired.


Leo Day