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Sr Irmengard brings nature into the home

Sr. Irmengard decorates the large cardboard tree seasonally

Fantastic colors glow in the sun

The foxglove flowers are three-dimensional

Tree with beehive and busy bees

A warm welcome for the Sisters

Countless delicate flowers shine in all the colours of the rainbow, radiating zest for life. Bees swarm around the foxglove, little hedgehogs hide, grinning cheekily from between the grasses. The owl and squirrel have made themselves comfortable on a branch, the squirrel nibbles on the peanut. Everywhere you look, you can see the attention to detail.

Countless special features adorn the floor-to-ceiling windows of Senior Citizens' Residence Kist

The "creator" of these many small features that adorn the floor-to-ceiling windows of the Senior Citizens' Residence Kist is Sr Irmengard Götte OP. "I was a child of nature," she says and laughs. Even at a very young age, she would have "loved to bring the meadow into the house".

Sr Irmengard brings nature from outside into the retirement home with her window decorations

She still does this to some extent today, when she studies the filigree of plants and grasses and brings nature from outside into the retirement home with her beautiful window decorations, which she adapts seasonally. Autumn is currently on the agenda. An overflowing harvest basket with autumn fruits adorns a window, colourful leaves, apples, pears on the branches of a gnarled tree.

Creative leisure activities were her task at the Dominican Sisters' girls' secondary school

Sr Irmengard has always been creative in many areas. Her father was a painter, and he probably gave her a love for it. For 50 years, she worked at the St. Josef convent in Diessen am Ammersee and the affiliated Dominican girls' secondary school in the boarding house, where she was mainly responsible for creative leisure activities.

Sr Irmengard feels at home in tthe Senior Citizens' Residence Kist, which has become her home

Now the Senior Citizens' Residence Kist has become her home and she feels very much at home there. She maintains contact with the residents and now delights everyone with her new inspiring creations.

It all started with colorful Easter eggs motifs as window decorations

It all started at Easter, she explains, when the occupational therapist at the residence asked if the Sisters would like to decorate the windows with Easter motifs they had cut out of cardboard. "I just got started for our living area," says Sr Irmengard. In the meantime, the windows have been imaginatively decorated wherever the Sisters live. She also always hangs a little greeting on the doors of her fellow Sisters’ rooms when they return home from a trip.

Each flower is unique - Sr Irmengard designs all her patterns herself

Sr Irmengard does not need ready-made templates for her creations, she designs them herself. She studies flowers and blossoms, takes them inside, places them in the vase and looks at how they have grown and what makes them special. When she works this out she designs her templates herself, they are all unique. She then uses her scissors and a special cutter and turns her ideas into paper fantasies using rainbow paper, because "it makes the colours really stand out."

Creativity and artistic freedom go hand in hand

She also likes to let her imagination run wild, because "I can't and don't want to copy everything one-to-one." For Sr Irmengard, creativity and artistic freedom go hand in hand. For example, she twisted the foxglove flowers out of small bags, giving her plant a three-dimensional look. For the poppy buds, she twists little balls out of Tempo, dips them in water and then dabs them green with watercolour.

The joy and passion with which they are designed radiates from every flower

Sr Irmengard is meticulous in what she does and she is patient. "I work it all out for myself, trying out how it can be done until I like it," she says, describing her fiddly work. The joy and passion with which she creates her flowers radiates from every one of them.

"I can enjoy them and express what I feel inside me because I am so connected to nature," says Sr Irmengard. And it is a matter close to her heart that others can also enjoy her creations.

Text und Photos Martina Schneider
Photos Sr Marie-Luise Faupel OP and Martina Schneider
Translation Sr Marie-Luise Faupel OP