18 November 2021
By Tom Collins
“It is an incredible honour to be able to transform blank canvases in my home town of Passage West into works of art… I thank Cork County Council and the businesses and people of Passage West for their support for allowing me to bring my vision into reality.”
A 21-year-old street artist Jamie Howard aka “Raok1” has completed a vibrant large-scale mural on the gable end of the three-storey iconic Shamrock Stores in Passage West. Located in the centre of the town, the visually dynamic mural is a fitting seascape of Cork Harbour. Titled Home, this scenic addition to the town took five days to complete, and was made possible by Cork County Council through the Streetscape Enhancement Scheme. Passage West Creates, a local craft shop run by a collective of crafters and artists from Cork Harbour, put forward the application. It was inspired by Cork Harbour and the rich seafaring history of Passage West.
Jamie is currently a student of Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT). He has been practicing and studying street art and fine art for the past eight years.
The street art commission at The Shamrock Stores is one of a series of works undertaking by the young Passage West native in the Harbour town in recent months. He has painted a flowing wave mural on Passage West Pharmacy, a sailboat scene at Passage Point Shop, and contributed to the artwork on the near-by ‘Cut and Cover’ railway tunnel in Monkstown, which was commissioned by Cork County Council as part of Project ACT, the Council’s initiative to support the economic and social recovery of towns and villages.
A team of artists from “The Walls Project” — Gareth Joyce, Shane O’Driscoll, and Deirdre Breen — transformed the historic tunnel by painting a series of images reflecting Monkstown’s heritage. Jamie, along with fellow local artist Mark Quirke, were also involved and mentored by the Walls Project artists. The street art includes a train exiting the tunnel, a portrait of the legendary local man Captain Richard Roberts and a well-known local fable about a dog rescuing a boy from the water which dates back to 1800.
On his work in Passage West, Jamie said: “It is an incredible honour to be able to transform blank canvases in my home town of Passage West into works of art. I am hugely inspired by the beautiful seascape of where we live and wanted to capture that — the waves, boats and the harbour — through the use of vibrant colours and free-form work. It has been an incredible few months and I thank Cork County Council and the businesses and people of Passage West for their support for allowing me to bring my vision into reality.”
Follow Jamie Howard on Instagram at @raok1