After decades of living like a nomad, US American artist Tressa Prisbrey settled in Southern California, where, without any formal training, she built an extraordinary village that is one of a kind: “Grandma Prisbrey’s Bottle Village”. With the initial intention of providing a home for her collection of around 17,000 pencils, between 1956 and 1972 Prisbrey developed spectacular architecture out of recycled glass bottles, creating colourful buildings, sculptures, and walkways. In 1994, Bottle Village was severely damaged by the Northridge earthquake, leaving behind remnants of the architecture, the pencils, and an essayistic building and site plan that she had drawn up, which has autobiographical features and can be read as a contribution to the art discourse of the 1960s. Artist Kathi Hofer has produced the first German translation of Mrs. Prisbrey’s brilliant essay. Bottle Village is published together with the original text as a bilingual “artist’s artist’s book”.
Tressa “Grandma” Prisbrey (1896–1988)—artist, collector, essayist, and planner—lived in Simi Valley, California.
Kathi Hofer (b. 1981 in Hallein, Austria) lives as an artist in Berlin and Vienna.