Debora Schwedhelm

Deb Schwedhelm is an award-winning American photographer. Her work is a visual memoir that narrates the self-actualization of an artist. Deb’s use of storytelling depicts a lifetime of arrivals and departures. Her work dances with a primal vulnerability and divine mystery. Each transition in her photography opens a new chapter of the story, giving a visual voice to the storyteller.

Web of Invisible Threads

My sister and I grew up having a rather unconventional childhood. Numerous affairs. Alcoholism. Being left alone. Me parenting my sister. She and I, for the most part, were always polar opposites and as adults, we stopped talking for approximately 15 years. In 2019, at the ages of 50 and 48, we reconnected. One of the things that we discussed was our childhood and growing up. She said she had lots of good memories. I shared that I had very few memories and most were not great. I have always thought that I had blocked out many memories as a mode of survival. We decided to run an experiment of sorts: each of us was to write down our childhood memories (anything significant that came to mind) and then compare our writings. To our surprise, we shared almost identical memories. These fragments of our past, so similar yet interpreted differently.

Memories serve as a connection between our past and present and how we prepare for the future. Memories bring meaning and offer understanding, healing, and empowerment if we allow them to do so. Web of Invisible Threads is a collaboration between my sister and I, exploring our childhood memories, the emotions surrounding these memories, and how our recollections interplay in our current lives.

To view more of Deb’s work please visit their website.