Marlborough College's students paint for charity

The third Marlborough College Malaysia (MCM) Charity Art Auction held on May 7 is a highly anticipated event in the school calendar when parents and friends of the College come together to raise funds for a number of local Johor charities.

Year 1 & 2 pupils working together to create
a piece of art entitled, Seaworld
A total of 21 Lots were offered in the live auction while another 20 Lots were displayed for the silent auction.  The evening was exciting and enjoyable with Master, R B Pick, who added to the fun with his witty comments as the auctioneer.  

The highest bid of RM4,000 was for One Big Family, an artwork in the style of Australian Aboriginal Art by MCM’s youngest artists aged 4 to 5 who used their fingers to convey the story of a family of sea turtles.  Second highest bid of RM3,500 went to The Jewel of India by Year 6 pupils who were inspired by bright colours and patterns of India to create an artwork that glowed with layers of warm bright colours.

Master, R B Pick, added to the fun with his witty comments!
Each year the Art Auction focuses on a central theme with almost every pupil in the College involved in the production of art pieces that were auctioned off during the course of the evening.  This year’s theme on Creative Nations was a celebration of cultural heritage and the pupils’ creative responses as global citizens from various countries and cultures.

“While we do not claim to have covered every corner of the globe, every year group has taken inspiration from a different part of the world, reflecting many different cultures and artistic traditions from Australia to the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia,” said Head of Art, Lucy Prime as she commended every artist in the MCM community for their contributions to the artwork.

One Big Family, artwork created in the style of Australian
Aboriginal Art by MCM's youngest artists aged 4 & 5
“It’s a great privilege to see the children making art and the Art Auction Project is the perfect opportunity to experience the joy of creating with them,” said Prep Art Teacher, Michaela Marcovici, feeling pleased that while this project was great fun, pupils have also developed new techniques and consolidated skills.

“Discussion, debate, disagreement and difficult diplomacy have all played their part to forge some fantastically diverse and engaging work this year, with every child having their say, adding their mark and hopefully learning that sometimes, at least, the sum is much greater than the parts,” said Prep Art Teacher, Daniel Scott about interaction of pupils from Prep School to the Senior School who took part in the creation of unique pieces of art in the Art Auction Project.

The Jewel of India was created by Year 6 pupils
For the first time this year, Care Haven Orphanage, one of the College’s supported charities, created a piece of artwork that was a centrepiece of the auction.  Care Haven is a non-profit welfare organisation that provides housing, education and social welfare to disadvantaged children.  In January this year, the children of Care Haven came to MCM for a day of activities, one of which was to create a piece of art entitled, Wau Bulan which was auctioned at RM3,000, the third highest bid in the auction. 

The College has strong associations with Care Haven and all funds raised from the sale of the canvas will go directly to the orphanage, which will be used to help fund a new eco home for the children.  Other charities that will benefit from the funds raised at the auction are the Handicapped and Mentally Disabled Children’s Association of Johor Bahru, the Palliative Care Association of Johor Baru and the UNICEF appeal for victims of the Nepal earthquake.

“We are all privileged people and privilege comes with responsibility,” said Pick as he encouraged the audience to dig deep into their pockets to support MCM’s chosen charities.  “It’s not about us, it’s about the people we can help and make the community better,” he added.

Prints of the artwork are also available for sale
As a patron of the arts and supporter of local charities, HRH Permaisuri Johor Raja Zarith Sofiah graced the event as a Friend of Marlborough College Malaysia and showed great interest in the beautiful artworks produced through the collaborative work of the pupils.

While the total amount raised from the auction has yet to be finalised, the evening has so far generated RM55,000 with an anticipated final amount in the region of RM60,000.  Prints of the artwork are also available for purchase until the end of term and individual donations to the nominated charities are still being accepted.  Enquiries may be directed to email:

A version of this was published in The Malaysian Insider on 12 May 2015

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