Luce Artist Biography
David Butler fashioned colorful, highly imaginative animals, people, dragons, mermaids, and angels from hammered and cut roofing tin. His figures were part of an elaborate yard installation or spirit yard, which he began creating in southern Louisiana in the late 1960s. In Butler’s garden, wind and sunlight would play across his tin sculptures, creating an animated space that he believed kept evil spirits away. Butler, and many other African Americans across the South, blended Christian beliefs with folk practices to create spaces that felt self-determined and protective in a world that was often harsh and unpredictable.