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Chanonry Lighthouse, Black Isle (Credit: VisitScotland/ Kenny Lam)
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Moray Firth Dolphin

By Sarah Dunton

A homage to the hardy bottlenose dolphins of the Moray Firth
Image provided by Sarah Dunton

The Moray Firth is home to about 200 bottlenose dolphins. The most northerly population in the world, making them a robust and hardy bunch of dolphins! This is the reason the Moray Firth has been designated a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) for bottlenose dolphins since March 2005.

I have lived on the Black Isle since 2006 and often walk along the beach at Chanonry Point from Rosemarkie, fondly know as the Dolphin Mile. As a landscape artist I work mainly in acrylics and I have painted this seascape many times capturing the beautiful and vivacious colours of the area. I choose to sew a dolphin for my journey stone to signify their importance to the area and I wanted to hint at their Celtic connection by adding an element of Celtic knots and loops. I decided to use a combination of bright, complimentary colours as I am known for my use of lively colours within my artwork.

Many thanks to Sarah Dunton for sharing with us the story behind her journey stone, created as part of the Tapestry of the Highlands and Islands.


Prior to the beginning of the stitching of each tapestry panel, each stitcher of the Tapestry of the Highlands and Islands was tasked with telling their interpretation of the 'Spirit of the Highlands and Islands' within a blank outline of a stone. The possibilities were truly endless - is it represented in the land? The people? A historical site? A favourite memory?

In any case, each journey stone represents the connection between each individual stitcher, their story, and their own sense, or 'spirit', of place. Discover more of the stories behind the journey stones of the Tapestry of the Highlands and Islands here.