Sound of Iona Tartan
Last month I was given a unique opportunity to travel to the Isle of Iona on the West Coast of Scotland to photograph the wonderful, newly established ‘Sound of Iona’ tartan.
Having been taken on many trips on holiday to Scotland’s West Coast as a child, I have fond memories of the islands. Combining this with my passion for tartans, textiles and a love for the outdoors, this trip for me, was a photographers dream!
I started my venture from my base in Fife in the early morning in order to make the midday ferry from Oban. The Calmac Ferry Journey across to Craignure on Mull was picture perfect. I couldn’t believe my luck with the weather; to be sitting outside on the top deck, enjoying crisp blue skies and sunshine on a ferry crossing in October… in Scotland…what luck! I sat outside and savoured every moment, looking forward to the journey ahead.
Landing in Craignure, I then drove on through the wonderfully scenic Mull countryside to reach Fionnphort, the westerly point of the island, where I hopped on the ferry to Iona. The drive through Mull really was breathtaking, and made extra special by the intense autumnal colours and brilliant sunshine.
Upon first landing upon Iona, I was immediately struck by the beautiful fringes of intense turquoise blue sea that seemed to dominate the shore lines, emphasising the dramatic fine white sands below. The clear blue shore lines of Martyr’s Bay are iconic to Iona and set this island apart in a magical, charming way.
Itching to explore, I pulled on my wellies and grabbed my camera. I took in the sights of the ancient nunnery and beautiful Abbey along with gorgeous Iona Crafts and gift shops. I then headed to the ‘Bay at the Back’ of the Island to watch the sun set. I sat on the quiet, tranquil shorelines and looked forward with great excitement to capturing the sights of Iona.
Introduction to Iona tartan:
Sound of Iona Tartan project
The beautiful ‘Sound of Iona’ tartan has been established by Islander Sheila Grant. The gorgeous tartan cleverly captures and portrays the iconic colours of Iona, providing a textile token of the island.
Upon being introduced to the tartan, I was immediately taken by the beautiful colours. I absolutely love the turquoise streaks, hints of pinks and brilliant blues. I thoroughly enjoyed discovering Sheila’s tartan cushions, corsages, scarves and table matts.
Immediately encouraged by the colours, I headed out into the Island to photograph the wonderful products in the natural Iona environment.
I incorporated the Iona sandy beaches, sea washed pebbles, lichen covered rocks and blue waters….
I explored Port Ban, West Shores, the Nunnery & Abbey, Martyr’s Bay, pier front. I took in the crosses, grave stones, rocks and lobster creels…
Photography is a brilliant way to explore a land, I quickly discovered many hidden gems to the island.
The weather stayed dry (mostly!) and even despite the winds which developed into the 2nd day, we spent all our shoot time taking in and enjoying the lovely outdoors.
At the end of our days’ shoot, we shook the sand from our wellies and packed away our kit. What a brilliant adventure on one of Scotland’s most treasured islands, an experience not to be forgotten.
As I started the venture back to Fife on the Calmac Ferry, I hoped that it wouldn’t be too long before I would be back on Iona to enjoy the turquoise seas, sweeping beaches, tasty cooked breakfasts (from the delightful Ardoran House B&B, very much recommended for a relaxing, peaceful stay!) and friendly islanders once more.
If you would like to see the ‘Sound of the Iona’ tartan and gifts then please do go and visit the wonderful Island of Iona and discover the brilliant Martyr’s Bay Gift Shop and Cafe Restaurant where the gorgeous tartan products will be on display into 2015. If you can’t wait to get your hands on some Iona Tartan gifts before then, then please do look out for the online shop soon to be launching…keep your eyes peeled at www.martyrsbayiona.co.uk
If you’ve been inspired by my blog and are looking for some creative colours, textures and photography for your own business then please do get in touch! I would love to hear from you! Please do check out my website www.mairihelenaphotography.co.uk to view more of my portfolio.