ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, April 01, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 44
Financial Times  

Unique auction through ‘Show of Hands’

Colombo experienced a unique top end auction of various ‘talents and prizes’ last week, ranging from private lessons to a cocktails partner. ECSAT (Equally based Community Support and Training), a charitable organisation working mostly in the South with vulnerable people in their own communities came up with auctioning art pieces of local artists, drama workshops, drumming lessons, custom designed outfits, photographs and fire dancing lessons for charity called the ‘Show of Hands’.

The first auction was bidding for a private lesson with Aruna Siriwardene, a western drums’ maestro and inspiration to anyone interested in this kind of music. With a Rs, 5,000 starting bid the lesson went for Rs.6,500. Next bid for flamboyant chef in Sri Lanka – Koluu saw active bidding by a lady and a gentleman after which the gentleman walked away with the dinner by Koluu for Rs.25,000.
A half day private dance class or performance by Khema, an outstanding dancer who strives to keep alive the traditional low country dance forms went for Rs.10,000 and an original painting by Nelun Harasgama which had a starting bid of Rs.5.000 went for double the amount.

Artist Muhanned Cader’s original painting went for Rs. 15,000 whereas it had a starting bid of Rs5,000. The night had a charged atmosphere despite the low turnout in the crowd (possibly due to the cricket match played that day) and the bidding sequence had by this time taken a serious note with Jerome de Silva, outstanding in the drama arena, whose full day dramatic workshop for up to 30 participants to help hone the talents was initially bid for Rs.5,000 and went for Rs.13, 000.

The most interesting bid was for catwalk model Chula Padmendra who bought the glamour quotient to the auction, and was available at a starting bid of Rs.5,000 to be partnered for cocktails. However, despite much anticipation that she would be a hotly contended lot, the last bid was Rs.10,000.

The Rs.10,000 starting bid of Lou Ching Wong- the premiere haute couture designer’s custom designed outfit went for Rs.17,000 with a starting bid of Rs.10, 000. A private fire dancing lesson was secured for Rs.8,000 while a Dominic Sansoni photograph went for Rs.10, 000.

There were two lots for the formidable photographic talents of Luxshman Nadarajah and a scuba diving lesson by PADI Open Water Diver. The final lot of the night was to enable eight lucky people to enjoy an evening tasting Sandalford wines along with carefully chosen light food to enhance the experience. The host was Prakash Mirchandani, Managing Director of Favourite International, importers of fine wine from around the world. This drew the highest bid of Rs. 26,000.

Catherine Liyanage, Director at ECSAT told The Sunday Times FT that the entire auction fetched Rs.200,000 profit. “This we feel was mainly because this was the first time that Colombo had such an event. We plan to organise more of these in the future,” she said, adding that as a first time attempt the auction had a good response.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.