On our first visit to King Island we were sitting in the small departure lounge at Moorabbin airport when an eye-catching lady arrived with half fastened bags containing anything you could imagine for the purpose of art and craft. Visualise Patsy and Eddie of Ab Fab returning from a shopping trip in Paris! She was welcomed by the guy at the check-in and by those travelling on the small plane. Their conversation clearly indicated that she was an islander returning home after a short stay on mainland Australia.
King Island: Caroline Kininmonth
The following day, a Monday, I discovered that I had failed to pack underpants and also found the only clothes shop in Currie to be closed! We made our way down the street, past the post office, and came across a brightly painted shed that resembled an album sleeve from the era of the Moody Blues.
The door to The Pottery was closed but not locked. A small hand written sign begged us to enter and, once inside, another note invited us to help ourselves to tea, coffee and biscuits as well as the use of the stove for heating tinned food from the cupboard.
We looked around and had a cup of tea while waiting for the owner to arrive. Nobody showed so, to be polite, we left a note saying that we had visited and that we would return the following day.
The Thunder Stone
On arrival the next day, we again found the gallery unattended and again we helped ourselves to refreshments. A few minutes passed before a ute pulled up outside the door and we were not too surprised when the lady from our flight got out.
Through the window, we could see that she was in a frenzy of excitement and a gentleman was lifting a large stone from the back of the ute. Crash, smash, bang! The stone fell to the ground from the man’s intentionally careful hands.
Undeterred, the lady proceeded to pick-up the major pieces before entering the gallery. For the next few minutes we became her helper and before introductions she told us the story of the newly acquired (now broken) Thunder Stone!
Caroline Kininmonth… that’s her name. Her art speaks for itself but there is so much more to this fabulous lady. She seems unconcerned about selling her works and prefers to promote King Island as a place that could operate entirely on an honesty system.
King Island Boat House
Several years ago, Caroline decided to renovate a derelict boat shed that sits perched on the edge of Currie harbour. It became known as the restaurant with no food and operated on the basis of honesty where patrons prepared their own food inside the fully equipped facility.
Just before we visited in 2009, the Boat House restaurant had been gutted by a fire. Arson was suspected and Caroline became resolute in her intentions to re-build.
In recent correspondence, Caroline was excited to tell me that the Boat House is re-built and operational and is better than before. She also informs me that “the Island plods along in it’s wild Bass Strait way”!
It should be noted that art works shown are not necessarily those of Caroline Kininmonth.