I make photographs in order to create images that stick in your mind, to be able to show a situation as it is when I encounter it and to preserve it forever. What I record is the reality. My subjects must first of all be socially relevant, but they must also have an aesthetic function. In my work I investigate ostensible trivialities and cultural phenomena, both Dutch and foreign. What also interests me are trivialities and cultural phenomena which are slowly vanishing and becoming more and more unpopular. What is the social significance of the fact that certain situations are disappearing in our society? When is something no longer a part of our times? Where does the turning point lie? In my work I try, among other things, to find out where this turning point is (to my mind, at least).

Another major theme in my work is architecture. I particularly use architecture's cultural and social significance, its function, as a decor for my subjects. In my opinion, society, people's actions and architecture are inseparably connected with one another. A person is nothing without a space in which to live or to work, and the other way around, a space devoid of the people that are connected with it does not come alive.

Through my composition and execution, I enhance the aesthetic element that I see in the subject matter, showering the viewer with details and impressions through categorization and repetition. With the same elements repeatedly coming to the fore in each individual picture, the message becomes clearer. I systematically work out my subject matter, as Bernd and Hilla Becher did with their typologies of industry, in order to achieve a clear line in my method of presentation.

Niels Helmink