Art and Design

Enlarging in proportion

The Guardian of the Valleys is a huge figure of a miner by Sebastien Boyesen on the site of Six Bells coal mine, where 45 people died in an underground explosion in 1960. It is a monument completed for the 50th anniversary of the disaster in 2010. The designer made it 20 m high to be seen from far away. It is made of 20,000 strips of steel that make it see-through from some viewpoints but like solid metal from others.


The base is 7.4 m high and the figure on top is 12.6 m. If he could take off his helmet and boots he would probably be about 12.25 m.

How many times human size is it? The average height of a grown man in Wales is 1.77 m. If you divide 12.25 m by 1.77 m that tells you the statue is 6.92 times taller than the average man. If you round the number up, the proportion is about 7:1.


You will need pens or pencils and very large sheets of paper.

Work in pairs or small groups to draw a hand enlarged as much as The Guardian’s.

  • Put a hand flat on a piece of paper and draw a line tightly around it.
  • Carefully measure the width of the hand and the length to the tip of each finger.
  • Multiply all your measurements by 7.
  • Using your measurements to help you, draw the hand 7 times bigger.

You could try measuring and drawing other objects at 7:1, for example a book, a pencil or a mobile phone.


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