There’s a special kind of pleasure to finding respite in the routine. It’s an easy, unexpected joy, deeply reassuring and delightfully eye-opening all the same. Our new artist understands this better than most, having arrived at her contemplative photography practice totally organically and with uncomplicated enthusiasm. Introducing Margot Guralnick and her debut edition, Counter Intuitive: a sunlit arrangement of natural discoveries, collected during the artist’s daily dog walks.
The architecture and interiors editor at Remodelista and co-author of the book Remodelista: The Organized Home, Guralnick has an eye for the indoors, but it’s her outdoor finds that she’s been chronicling on her Instagram feed. Her “Dog Walk Diary” does have one notable common denominator with her day job: a penchant for artful organizing. We found ourselves fawning over much more than just her rescue pup Enrique. There’s a breathless quality to Guralnick’s compositions, a sense of suspension. The plant matter she’s gathered is beautiful in its own right, but by thoughtfully re-arranging her treasures against a contrasting background she transposes and transforms them. Recontextualized, the urban botanical life in Counter Intuitive gets its due. Her photograph is a poem dedicated to the magical precision of mushroom gills, to blushing maple seed pods and the delicate sensuality of begonia and rose petals—wonders of a natural world that too often goes ignored.
Guralnick’s work is a lesson in perspective. In re-imagining everyday nature ephemera into quietly extraordinary artworks, her “Dog Walk Diary” is a plea to appreciate your surroundings, to be fully present. While gazing at her images is an appreciative act in itself, spend some time staring at a piece like Counter Intuitive and you may be compelled to take things a step further (or a walk further, as the case may be). Forage for fauna on your next neighborhood stroll. Have a slice of that happy experience all to yourself. The process of creation is certainly personally restorative for Guralnick. From beginning to end, making these photographs is a meditative act—she even refers to her compositions as “daily devotionals.”
Guralnick considers the curative powers of her series a collaborative effort—a platform for her local plant life to shine—and there’s a real sense of deference in her displays. Counter Intuitive is assembled with the care of a religious offering. Nestled in there is also a nod to the beauty of impermanence, to thoroughly temporary tableaux and the bliss of attempting to translate nature’s myriad mysteries nonetheless. And speaking of fantastic things that are also fleeting: don't forget to nab her new limited-edition print before it's sold out.