“I think about the infinite in relation to our lives and the majesty and mystery of our world,” says painter and sculptor Wilhelmus C. (“Helm”) Ruifrok. “The reason and emotive direction for many of my works revolve around the search for the immortal and the relationship to the mortal, physical and corporeal world that we live in. The idea is that, if you look closely at mysterious physical structures you might uncover the spirit that motivates, not only the body of the creature, but the environment in which it lives.”
Born in the Hague in 1952, Helm migrated to New Zealand in 1965 where he studied at Christchurch Polytechnic (Graphic Design) and the University of Canterbury (Painting and Art History). His artwork was exhibited in London in 1975 and later in Roermond, the Netherlands. Around 1978, he studied Rembrandt, Mondrian and other artists in galleries throughout Holland. Briefly involved in puppetry and theatre on his return to New Zealand, Helm continued to paint and exhibit – and has, over the years, produced a most fascinating oeuvre.
Themes of vision and consciousness are easily present in his paintings. The landscapes created give the impression of being the surfaces of alien planets or they look like microscopic magnifications of our very own biological realities. Frequently, grand cosmic vistas point to the possibility of metaphysical truth.