Marc Quinn For Adolescents

Silhouette of sculpture

Spiral of the Galaxy


Marc Quinn

British, born 1964

Subject: Sound and Environment

Activity: Write a poem inspired by the sights and sounds of Dell Medical School

Materials: Pencil, paper, and crayons, colored pencils, or markers

Vocabulary: Symbolize


This sculpture was chosen for the new Dell Medical School because of the special meaning behind conch shells. These shells are strong in order to protect the delicate sea snail that lives inside. In art, a conch shell can symbolize protection because of the sturdiness of the shell. It can also suggest life-giving because shells come from water, which is important for all living creatures to survive. Students who are studying to become doctors at Dell Medical School are protecting their patients just like the shell protects the sea snail. 


What type of creature could live in this giant shell?

What other types of “houses” protect the creatures that live inside?

What do doctors do to make us feel better? What are some ways we can make each other feel protected and safe? 


Discover the sights and sounds of Dell Medical School! Take a few minutes to look at all sides of the sculpture. Look at the surrounding buildings and landscape. What do you see?

If you put a real conch shell to your ear you can hear the sound of the ocean! What sound do you think this conch shell would make? Close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you. Do you hear students talking? Can you hear the engine of a car or the siren of an ambulance? What sounds do you hear from nature?

Write down three words to describe your observations. Use these to inspire a short poem. Trade words with a friend and write a poem inspired by your friend’s observations. Illustrate or decorate your poem! 


Symbolize: giving an image, color, or object special meaning; the color red can symbolize love