Five years ago, the City of Port Philip and the then Planning Minister responsible for Fishermans Bend started talking about the Montague Precinct of Fishermans Bend being developed as a “creative industry hub”.
This was long before the heights of the apartment buildings were decided, and the cost of the land escalated to extraordinary levels.
Sadly, not much has been done to attract the creative industries, no overt work has been undertaken to find opportunities for creative, or artistic professionals, gallerists, and producers.
Yes, The Block’s headquarters for a time was on Buckhurst St (is that creative?) and the Laurent Gallery in Thistlethwaite St was priced out of the area, there is a design school, a photography college, recording studios and some architects who have been working in Montague prior to the designation of the precinct as a creative hub.
However, quietly and without fanfare or support from the council or the government creative practitioners have been working away in the Industry Building at 87 Gladstone St.
And it would be wonderful if the Fishermans Bend Task Force and the planners both local and state would consider how they can ensure these wonderful and important creative individuals can stay in Montague and more like-minded creatives and artists can be encouraged to join them.
This month our Meet a Montaguan is Saville Coble – a successful and highly creative photographer working in the Industry building. Please meet Saville …
Who are you, tell us a little about yourself?
I am a commercial photographer who trained at RMIT with a BA in commercial photography 23 years ago in film and have seen the industry completely evolve into the digital photography and video platform it now sits among. The transition has been amazing, and the quality now far exceeds where film was at any time. We run and own Luminous Studios here in Gladstone St – a full-service studio that offers product photography for e-commerce to corporate portraits and fashion shoots here in the studio with a specialty cyc wall for video and fashion to create a seamless white transition on the background. We do lots of branding and campaign photography and I really love shooting architecture as well for builders, fit out companies, architects and lighting designers.
What brought you to live or work in Montague?
I came to the area after having another photography studio business in Port Melbourne for 10 years and when the opportunity arose my wife and I purchased the new studio here at Industry Business Hub . I love the natural north facing light and CBD views.
What are the best and/or most interesting things about working or living in Montague?
Having access to the CBD, the beach, and exiting freeways makes living and working here the perfect location. It is also perfect for all my CBD corporate clients who want to visit the studio for portraits as it is only a few minutes’ cab ride away. And the tram stop is also on the doorstep here at Montague St.
How does working or living in Montague affect your quality of life/work?
After moving from Sandringham and commuting up and down Beach Rd I find the morning walk from Port Melbourne to the studio in Gladstone St very enjoyable and relaxing start to the day.
What are the challenges of working or living in Montague?
I think density limits really need to be addressed. I think five or six stories is really enough in this area. They are more boutique blocks and encourage people to get to know each other a little more, without feeling they live in a skyscraper.
If you could change something about the Montague Precinct, what would it be?
Additional permit parking for commercial owners for free visitors parking to encourage more business to the area •