Liam Butler originally hails from County Kilkenny. He worked as an industrial welder for many years in Germany and America, before returning to Ireland. He now lives in County Galway where he has been creating metal shapes and forms for nearly thirty years.
His professional career gave him a complete understanding and mastery of his materials. He began to explore and experiment in sculpture, mostly creating works in stainless steel. When he graduated to using copper it had a liberating effect on him. It was more pliable and malleable than steel and allowed him to express himself in a more personal and exciting way. He is completely self-taught, technically brilliant and his work is instantly recognisable. – The Kenny Gallery
Liam has passed on his craft to his three children, Ronan, Lisa and Davin, training each of them in techniques he developed throughout his career. Ronan is now a full time artist creating his own unique pieces, and Lisa and Davin create sculptures in their free time alongside other work. Liam has passed on not only his methods and skills but also a love of copper and exploring the possibilities of this material. The family workshop is a space of ongoing experimentation, learning and exploration. This website features new and past work from the whole Butler family.
You’re welcome to call in to our home gallery and see our work in person. If you’d like to do so, or if you have any other questions that aren’t covered here, please get in touch.
‘Copper Roots’ in the Kenny Gallery, Galway – August 12th, 2022
This exhibition will run for a month and will showcase work from Liam, Ronan, Lisa and Davin.
The Kenny Gallery was the first to give Liam a start as a professional artist. We are now coming full circle and returning there many years later to exhibit as a family.
Going back to our roots is the theme of the exhibition and we are excited to show you how we will each explore this theme in our own style.
Looking forward to seeing you there.
The Art of Welding – 2009
Liams fifth solo exhibition in Kenny’s saw him develop his style while keeping to his strong simple and instantly recognisable roots. Many of his images here had a celebratory quality. They danced and played, flaunted themselves and balanced on things. Strong images, yet made with a delicacy and a subtlety and freshness which makes them unique.
Déanta As Copair – 2006
Liam continued to show a willingness to experiment in this exhibition. He showed a growth in confidence, tackling sculptures that captured more movement as well as revisiting some of his old favourite ideas.
Taking A Leaf – 2003
Opened by John Tierney on the 31st of January. This exhibition saw more experimentation with wood carvings as well some hurling depictions and more of the female figure. Liam continued to refine and evolve his style.
Welding Objects of Desire – 2001
First opened by Charlie McCreevy TD on the 5th September 2001 in the WhichCraft Gallery. Liam’s butler first exhibition in Dublin saw the introduction of wall hangings along with plants and flowers of his own minds creation.
Shapes and Shades – 1999
Opened by Fr. Dick Lyng on the 15th of October. This show marked a significant development from his first. While keeping with themes of nature, he experimented with different animals such as sheep and owls. He also explored themes of childhood and refined his style making a more streamlined, elegant work compared to his previous, more rustic approach.
Welded Sculptures – 1997
Liams first exibition. Officially opened November 7th by John Behan in The Kenny Gallery. The exhibition was inspired by his immediate environment and featured work in copper and bronze. He celebrated the birds, currachs, fishermen, farmers, musicians and dancers. This exhibition introduced a new talent to the West of Ireland.
Liam butler has now mostly moved away from exhibitions, and showcases his work annually at the RDS ArtSource Fair, and at the Bloom Gardening Festival through the Kildare Gallery. Sculptures from Liam, Ronan and the rest of the family are also available to see at his home gallery in Furbo, Co. Galway by prior appointment.
Liam has also had solo shows in the Jonathan Swift Gallery in Carrickfergus and in Whichcraft in Dublin, and taken part in group shows in An Damhlann – Kenny Gallery, Co. Galway and in the Frank Lewis Gallery, Killarney.