when Hendrik Kerstens decided to dedicate himself entirely to photography in 1995, he turned to a model very near at hand: his daughter paula. he wanted to document all the important moments in her life, to ‘be there’, to capture something of the fleeting moments that fade from memory all too quickly. The inquisitive eye of the photographer plays an important part in the process: he sets out to catch a glimpse of his subject’s secret being and tries to understand what it is he sees.
He is fascinated and amazed by the fact that every human being, no matter how familiar, is ‘other’, a mystery that can never be completely unravelled. the project became known as ‘paula pictures’, one of which went on to win the panl-award. Something else is going on in kerstens’ photographs. time and time again he uses his daughter as a model, immortalizing her, as if to stop time and oblivion.