"I was totally surprised and perplexed and refused when father rigobert approached me in 1989 with the offer to paint a stations of the cross with 14 pictures for the church in brunn", the munnerstadt artist inge kirch (74) described to the numerous visitors the week before last in the church st. Sebastian in brunn. But if you look around the small church, which was built around 1400 and expanded in 1957, you will find on the walls – a stations of the cross with the usual 14 motifs about the suffering of christ, created in oil on canvas by inge kirch.
This way of the cross is, she says herself, the most important and roughest work she has created. This evening with inge kirch was for the listeners an inner preparation on the way to carol week and easter. Inge kirch explained that the church had also been renovated in the course of its expansion in 1957. But the newly created abstract paintings on the walls did not like at all. The walls were therefore painted, and remained so for many years.
In 1989, however, said father rigobert marx (1938-2009) wanted to persuade them to create a way of the cross for the church. "I refused, but rigobert lieb did not relax", smiled inge kirch. That’s why she suggested to him that she first paint a single picture "and then we can talk further". No sooner said than done. Father rigobert liked it and also in the diocese in wurzburg they thought it was "quite good" and also agreed. So inge kirch started to work after all. She had looked at other crosses. "They were all painted with a very dark background, I did not want that", she realized and "i wanted to paint in such a way that the pictures would fit into the church". There’s nothing worse than when colors rub together". She picked up colors from the church.
The church is not very coarse, so the 14 paintings could not be very coarse, only 40 by 50 centimeters. However, it was much easier to paint coarse, flat oil paintings, she said. She decided to use special cardboard on which the canvas is mounted. This is a bit more expensive than canvas on wooden frames, but they warp a bit. In 1990 she started and it took her a year to finish. The frames for the paintings were bought in a shop in amorbach. "I was not quite happy with the selection", but the ones that fit perfectly were three times as expensive".
And then another allergy
The assignment at that time was for her also an intensive confrontation with the story of jesus’ suffering. At the same time she entered new artistic territory with the sacred painting. "I often pushed myself to my physical and mental limits", she said, and an allergy to oil colors was added to the mix.
Face distorted in pain
Inge kirch went into each individual picture of the way of the cross. The first one is titled "jesus is condemned to death and pilate washes his hands in innocence". For us it should mean that even today people are innocently condemned or despised for no reason, she interpreted. The other motives are "jesus takes the cross on his shoulders", "jesus falls under the cross for the first time", "jesus meets his mother, "simon helps jesus carry the cross", "veronica hands jesus the sword cloth", "jesus falls under the cross for the second time", "jesus meets the weeping women", "jesus falls under the cross for the third time", "jesus is stripped of his clothes", "jesus is nailed to the cross", "jesus dies on the cross, "jesus is taken down from the cross" and finally "jesus is laid in the tomb".
"The lord jesus has no gentle face", stated one of the visitors. "It is not a miracle. He was human, his face was distorted with pain" , the artist replied. When her stations of the cross were already finished, she was once in the holy land "I was surprised that the colors worked so well". Last but not least, she learned that "father rigobert chose you carefully, because you were very good value for money". The person who said this must have known, because it was her husband, rainer kirch.