multimedia community art project.

Click HERE for more details and how you can participate in co-creating a film.

From Katheryn Trenshaw,

International Artist and Project director:

What word or phrase would be absolutely true about you; but not obvious to strangers?

As humans we are hardwired to connect. We do this most powerfully through vulnerability and authentic sharing. 


Some years ago during a silent retreat I had an epiphany. I realized that the greatest treasure I hold is buried deep inside the thing I least want anyone to know about. Within this wound inside of me lay a rich treasure trove. I was a living paradox and the sooner I could learn to dance with this, the sooner I could unabashedly share my gifts.


I have been inspired by the work of many, especially Brené Brown. She comes from a social work research background and began wanting to know more about what makes us happy. She teamed up with neurobiologists and other researchers and basically discovered that if you want to look at happiness you need to look at shame. Happiness is directly linked with reducing shame, and this takes us to vulnerability, authenticity and ultimately to resilience in transition / changing times.

As an artist, I have specialised all of my professional life in the masks we wear, and am passionate about ritualistic mark making on skin and bodies. Breaking the Silence was a body or work I created consisting of 100 masks that toured the United States and Europe for over 15 years. It was all about revealing our true nature and looking at what we conceal and has had a huge influence on my subsequent work, life and respect for peoples traditions throughout the World.

I’ve always been fascinated with “shadow” material, the taboo that no one wants to speak about. I tend toward, what Robert Bly calls “our shadow bags”: Sex, death, money, and power. These more hidden aspects of ourselves hold great treasures and vitality when they are freed.

These elements combine to create what is now the In Your Own Skin project: A community multimedia art project, connecting us all by revealing hidden truths from around the world. With your participation we can create the powerful 1st documentary short to share the normally hidden wealth of wisdom that unites us all. And I have to say that I haven’t been so passionate about anything since the birth of my son.

How it Works

With her camera, body paint, and the quest to explore how people choose to show themselves to the world, Katheryn Trenshaw—photographer, documentarian, and artist— approaches total strangers and asks: What is true of you that is not obvious to strangers?

After conferring with Katheryn and consulting with their hearts, those who agree to participate choose a word (or phrase) that reveals something about themselves that is unknown to others. Katheryn then paints the word on the skin of the person and photographs them. The result is as moving as it is unexpected.


Her background in art, psychology, and language allows her to connect with her subjects on a variety of levels. This multi-layered perspective comes through to the viewers of her moving photographs. Over the past year, Katheryn has created nearly 150 portraits of subjects from more than thirty countries and all walks of life. Each photograph documents a personal story.


The Overall Project

This In Your Own Skin documentary short is about nothing short of unlocking human potential and joy. I’ve seen the potential for human beings to share in such a powerful openhearted way. The further I go into this project, the more I trust our deep intelligence. I experience people being genuinely authentic. We are living differently now in these challenging times. We are living more and more in community and in ways that we really support each other.

Projects like this one and the others I have created ( like my Breaking the Silence Project) show that love always trumps fear.

I am passionate about this project! I love every minute of this mad and wonderful process: creating these ways to reveal and share our hidden stories with each other. I love how this process can weave into the every day aspects of my life, parenting, community and travels. I recently was reminded of the obvious… that the meaning of life is to find your gift and the purpose of life is to give that gift. Each of the In Your Own Skin portraits gives a gift and reveals a part of each of us. Now that is worth getting up for in the morning! I am so very grateful.

A Multimedia Community Arts Project


The project breaks new ground by using a variety of media to share the amazing stories of the people behind the portraits, and how the experience of sharing a personal vulnerability can teach us all how to find peace, resilience and happiness In Your Own Skin 

A Book
An Exhibit
An Experience
A Documentary Short

Find out more about the individual components and how YOU can be part of the creative experience.

The team

Katheryn Trenshaw is an American-born artist, expressive arts teacher, and cultural creative. Over the course of nearly thirty years, her work has been shown in galleries and educational venues in Europe, Asia, and North America. Her photographs, sculptures, and paintings are prized in private collections, and have been shown in public buildings, including the United Nations. She is the founder and director of Passionate Presence Center for Creative Expression – an international center without walls through which Katheryn offers educational events, workshops, multi-media projects, and consulting for individuals, groups, and organizations in the United States, Europe, and around the world. Currently, she lives with her teenage son in Devon, England. This vibrant, creative community is an ancient settlement known as Totnes, the original “Transition Town Totnes.” There, overlooking Dartmoor National Park, she has a small organic orchard, five chickens, and two cats.

Arthur Cauty - Director of Photography and Editor. Arthur is an award nominated film maker, editor and camera operator. He has worked with The Pet Shop Boys, Paul O’Grady, Lotus, and the wrestlers of WWE. He was also camera operator and editor on an award winning programming for Sky Sports & CNBC.

Steven Draper – Executive Assistant to Katheryn and the project, Award winning Photographer and Cameraman, Sound Recordist, Web and social networking wizard

Orion Trenshaw-Leggett – Computer Wizard, Technical Advisor, Photographer, Film Editor, App Developer

Musicians who have written bespoke music for the project include:

  • Juliet Russell
  • Madrum
  • Beth Robb
  • Adam Isaac
  • Katie Whitehouse
  • John Clarke and many more


Video Clips

Have you ever met someone amazing by chance in a public place or on a train, for instance, that changed your life forever? I love chance encounters of the wholehearted kind. I love that I get to do this all the time in meeting people for the In Your Own Skin project and capturing the essential goodness and dignity and resilience of us all. My new friend Moa ( see this clip) is a great example. What’s not to love?

Social networking, web sites and article links


Radio Interviews – Have a listen online:

BBC Radio Devon with John Govier Saturday Oct 13

Vivacity Radio Interview with Shivani Friday Oct 12th:

Herald Express: Social art exploration looking at how words and phrasesInternational artist, teacher and filmmaker Katheryn Trenshaw (pictured) … Trenshaw has asked the question of more than 100 people from around the world.



The Passionate Presence Center is an international center without walls through which Katheryn Trenshaw offers training and facilitation in movement, art, and personal development.
Katheryn Trenshaw conducts educational events, workshops, multi-media projects, and undertakes consulting for individuals, groups, and organizations in the United States, Europe, and around the world.