Howie Cooke is a former trawlerman, sailor and tuna fisherman from New Zealand who began creating big oil paintings of whales in the mid 70s. He has dedicated his life to cetacean freedom ever since.
His work once took him to the South Pacific where he was employed as set painter on the mainstream feature film the “The Bounty” (Tahiti, 1982) and his full-time return to whale painting is marked via his solo exhibition “Whales, Dolphins and Chaos”, held in London in 1990. “Whaletipi” is among his most recognised art projects, having been seen by more than 100,000 people in 15 countries. In his adopted homeland, Australia, Howie has formed marine action group “Ocean-S” and published “To the Whales Born” book of cartoons. He launched the highly effective “Get your Butts off our Beaches” and “Blue Groper State Fish NSW” campaigns. He co-founded Surfers for Cetaceans with Dave Rastovich in 2005 and it was at his annual attendance to the IWC (International Whaling Commission, IWC59 Alaska) where Howie helped formulate a plan for Taiji action with Rick O'Barry and Capt. Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd; their actions eventually made famous by the award winning documentary, “The Cove”.
Howie continues to represent S4C at each annual IWC and other forums, and be a banner man and speed muralist on journeys alongside fellow S4C artist Chris del Moro.