JOY-FILLED TABLESCAPES AND FINE FRENCH LINEN

Artist and fabric designer, Carina Chambers, seeks inspiration from the land and people around her when creating her heirloom-quality range of French flax linen tablecloths, napery and her joy-filled artworks.



The tablescapes that feature in Carina Chambers’ most recent body of work are the very table settings she dreams of creating on the other side of lockdown.


They are everything you’d expect those family gatherings to be – bright, vivid and bursting with joy – a kaleidoscope of colour that captures family celebrations from a bird’s eye view.

"I've always been a creative person, even as a child I knew I wanted to be an artist".

Opportunity seized thanks to progressive parental leave

The collection was created within a two-month period afforded to her by husband Nick’s workplace. GrainCorp’s ‘Get the other half back to work program’ gave Carina the time and space she needed not only to get her linen and napery business – Long Lunch Linen – off the ground, but to also create this latest joy-filled collection for an exhibition at Mae and June, coinciding with the opening of their new space.


She seized the chance to swap roles as primary carer and gave herself permission to swim in the artistic process, while Nick loved the opportunity to really connect with their children.


“It was amazing – the shifting of parental responsibilities changed completely within our household because of it,” says Carina. “The bond Nick has formed with our girls has really strengthened and that’s an opportunity not often given to men. Meanwhile, I was able to refine my business offering and focus on creating this collection of brightly-coloured watercolour artworks for my first ever solo exhibition at Mae and June set to take place in Spring.


“None of this would have happened without GrainCorp’s progressive parental leave program – for that I am hugely grateful,” Carina adds.


At home among the gumtrees

As for her other creative outlet, Long Lunch Linen is the perfect complement to her tablescape artworks. It was an idea born after returning to the region from corporate life in Sydney.


“I thought there was a gap in the market for large tablecloths made from really high quality French linen in beautiful colours,” says Carina. “So Long Lunch Linen was born.”


The brand includes a range of linen napery in on-trend colours, as well as one-of-a-kind hand-painted tablecloths, runners and napkins that add a burst of colour to country tables Australia-wide. Carina is constantly inspired by the colours of the land around her – a sage green that mimics gum leaves, a pink that captures the perfect shade of gum blossom, earthy, terracotta tones drawn from the rich ochre soil of the plains they call home, and a deep, inky navy blue, like the night sky above.


All products are sewn from supremely soft, high-quality 100 per cent French flax linen and designed to cover large outdoor settings and dining tables – the perfect addition to family gatherings.


Now, Carina feels at home in both her personal life, and her career.


“I’ve always been a creative person, even as a child I knew I wanted to be an artist,” says Carina.


After completing a degree in design, Carina spent time in Sydney where she worked as creative director at an agency in Surry Hills. While she loved the chase and the experience of working with corporate clients, she felt like she lost herself in that kind of work.


“I missed the raw creativity of colour on paper and fabric – so between my artwork and launching Long Lunch Linen, I haven’t looked back since.”


The year 2021 saw Long Lunch Linen expand with the addition of business partner Alex Humphries. Later this year, the ladies will be releasing an extra long linen tablecloth just in time for Christmas. At 3.8 metres long, the newest product is the perfect size for country families who gather around and celebrate the festive season.


“It will still have a generous drop on the sides and will also mean there’s no pesky join in the middle – so it’s the perfect festive tablecloth, large enough to fit the whole extended family this Christmas,” she says.


As for her artwork, Carina will be releasing a series of limited edition prints following on from her exhibition that are easily postable country-wide, so you’ll be ready to both entertain in style and refresh your walls this festive season with pieces the family will treasure for years to come.


You can view the Long Lunch Linen range at longlunchlinen.com.au, or explore Carina’s remarkable artworks at carinachambers.com.au


{words: Steph Wanlessphotography: Daniel Nash Photography}