Silent Auction Supports Déda Community Engagement

Derby-based painter John McDonald has donated one of his striking creations for a silent auction to support the community engagement programme at Déda – the city-based organisation that aims to enrich people’s lives through dance and the arts.

John McDonald’s celebrated painting ‘Butterfly Cry’ is part of a collection of striking and majestic portraits of Frida Kahlo – arguably Mexico’s most iconic artist – portraying loss, brokenness and the indomitable resilience of the human spirit.

The portrait is part of a special commission entitled ‘Inspired Reflections’ which is a collection of work by John McDonald and fellow Derbyshire artists Sara Brighty and Lor Bird which is being exhibited at Déda’s Cathedral Quarter venue on Chapel Street.

The 120cm by 80cm hand-finished print will be put into a silent auction on Tuesday November 27 – ‘#Giving Tuesday’, the international day of giving – and bids can be placed by email or in person at Déda’s box office until 5pm on Saturday December 15.

The winner of the silent auction will then be able to collect the painting after the exhibition closes on Saturday 12 January 2019.

Déda CEO and Artistic Director Stephen Munn said: “The exhibition ‘Inspired Reflections’ opened here recently and has already received incredible feedback from visitors to Déda who are able to enjoy the work of these incredibly talented artists free of charge.

“The portrait ‘Butterfly Cry’ is hugely emotive and I am sure that there will be a great response to the silent auction for a chance to own a print of this wonderful creation.”

“Déda is a charity and, as such relies on grants and public donations to continue its valuable work.

“We are therefore extremely grateful to John for supporting Déda’s innovative and applauded work with a wide range of people in our local communities.”

Glaswegian-born John McDonald works from the University of Derby’s Banks Mill Studios.  He was rendered profoundly deaf 18 years ago and has been developing his skills largely shut off from the world.

Since receiving cochlear implants two years ago and now in his fifties, he has discovered a whole new sense of connection through art.

He said: “Having seen Déda’s work in action, I am proud to be able to support their fund raising efforts through the silent auction.

“Money raised will support their great work and I am pleased to have the opportunity to give something back to the organisation that has provided the beautiful space for our artwork to be seen with the ‘Inspired Reflections’ exhibition.”

Silent auction bids can be made by email to, over the phone on 01332 374667 or in person at the Déda box office in Chapel Street.

For more information about the silent auction, the ‘Inspired Reflections’ exhibition and all the other events and performances at Déda, please visit

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