The MAP6 Collective


The MAP6 Collective was established in 2011 by six UK based MA Photographers, with the goal of supporting the making and dissemination of new bodies of work. Currently comprising of ten members: Paul Walsh, Mitch Karunaratne, Heather Shuker, Phil Le Gal, Richard Chivers, Barry Falk, David Sterry, Chloe Lelliot, Rich Cutler and Raoul Ries, are working together to learn, experiment and make new work about the complex relationship between people and place.

Annually, the group travel to a place new to everyone, and over the course of a week, the group work to form a collective, photographic impression of that place through its landscape and people. Each project eventually takes the form of a curated exhibition, series of talks or group publication. Each photographers approach is informed by a need to document and try to understand the complicated nuances that give a specific place its own unique characteristics, and how these characteristics reflect and inform what is happening in the wider world.

The work is individually diverse but unified by a joint curiosity for the complex relationships between people and place. MAP6 is committed to creating informative bodies of work around a central theme or geographical location. Each series eventually takes the form of a curated exhibition and group publication.


The Milton Keynes Project

The plan for Milton Keynes was visionary. A garden city organised around a rigid grid. A low green lush place, planned for the car with self-contained neighbourhoods at its core. Over a weekend in March, MAP6 visited Milton Keynes to coincide with its 50th birthday, to create a document of a poignant moment in the history of the city. For 72 hours, 8 photographers intensively captured its geography, people, structure and architecture to create an overlapping, collaborative project. Themes include portraits of people who live and work in Milton Keynes; the interwoven relationship between the car and the landscape, the close scrutiny of everyday moments as they unfold, and a celebration of its ambiguous, original and visionary architecture. The work was made in collaboration with the MK Gallery in Milton Keynes and exhibited as part of the cities 50th-anniversary celebrations in 2017.


The Shetland Project

Closer to the Arctic circle than to London and sharing a latitude with Anchorage, Alaska, Shetland is the Scottish archipelago of over 100 islands (only 12 of which are said to be inhabited) that sit to the very north of the United Kingdom. At first glance vast areas of Shetland look uninhabited and untouched by man, but when you look closer the islands begin to reveal themselves. Standing on a rock dating back 3000 million years – the current view is of a community of fishermen, farmers and craft makers that welcomes the world to a land thriving on an extensive petrochemical and fishing industry, that is rich with important military history, and is an ideal place to launch satellites into space. Six photographers travelled the islands for six days to reflect on this unique environment, in an attempt to help further our understanding of the archipelago.


The Lithuania Project

The MAP6 Collective presents a body of work that explores the shifting concept of what defines modern Europe. It's been 60 years since the publication of Cartier Bresson's 'The Europeans' – a seminal body of work that continues to shape the photographic world. Since that work was made, a further 24 countries have joined the European Union and a single currency has been born. However, today’s Europe, seems even more in flux: more diverse, more politically and economically complex and more destabilised. With this in mind, in October 2015, the MAP6 collective journeyed to the country that was currently recognised as the ‘official' centre of Europe to meet some of the newest Europeans. Once a satellite of the USSR, Lithuania is a young republic caught in the process of recovering from 50 years of Soviet occupation. Over 6 days, 6 photographers set out to explore its transformation from Communism to capitalism, and how it’s adapting to its newfound Eurozone identity.


The Moscow Project

The MAP6 Collective set out on a six day trip in May 2013 to raise the curtain on contemporary Moscow by documenting this inimitable city as it goes through an overwhelming change. Each of the photographers engaged with the city by focusing on a chosen theme exploring its history, geography and people: the interior details of an off limits space centre, the anonymous faces of workers confined within underground kiosks, the transitory solitary figures passing above and below the city, or the modernist structures towering over the cities inhabitants. These moments in time now overlap, coincide and sit next to one another on a page to create a puzzling impression of a city, one that both reveals and mystifies at the same time. This collective interpretation offers us a glimpse into a city as if we are visiting it for the first time; we feel the initial sense of dislocation, confusion and then excitement as we unravel meaning in what we see.