Red Dirt Arts | Way Out West book | Drawings and stories of Western Australia

Way Out West


Way Out West book cover

$24.94 AUD

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Way Out West is Joel's second monograph on the big state of Western Australia, the first focusing on the Kimberley region (The Kimberley Series). Way Out West documents the entire state with full colour high quality reproductions of Joel's drawings inspired by his travels. This quality A4 publication has 96 pages bound in soft cover and makes an ideal gift or souvenir at $24.95.

In 1983 Joel Smoker took up a position as an Arts Advisory Teacher with the Education Department, based at the Kimberley District Education Office in Kununurra, East Kimberley. The job involved travel to schools around the Kimberley. The brief was to teach the teachers art making techniques and advise them on the Visual Arts curriculum. He figured that the best way of doing this was to do demonstration lessons for the teachers' classes. One of the art making techniques that he taught was pastel drawing on paper and to do this he took the students out of the classroom to suitable locations around the school to draw from observation. He figured that he may be able to do something with the demonstration drawings that he was doing so he began to take good quality Arches paper with him on which to do his drawings. At the end of 1985 he took up a job as the Art Coordinator of Waringarri Aboriginal Arts in Kununurra, which became a six-year project. During this time he continued with his drawing building up a collection of drawings of interesting places in the Kimberley, which he then exhibited in Kununurra and Broome.

On return to Perth in 1991 Joel registered as a relief teacher with the Western Australian Education Department. This meant that he had a two-week holiday at the end of each school term, so he began to go on camping trips with his wife to places out of Perth to continue with his drawing. The first trip was to the Abrolhos Islands, west of Geraldton, where he completed a series of water colour paintings and pastel drawings. This set the pattern for subsequent trips out to regional Western Australia and over the next twenty years he built up a collection of pastel drawings called the Way Out West series. There are fifty drawings in this series and forty-five of them are featured in this book. He hopes you like them and that you are encouraged to go and see these places for yourself.

$24.94 AUD

The fifty drawings of the Way Out West series are available for sale as originals or reproductions.

For more information please contact Joel Smoker by email at

Kimberley Series book

Joel Smoker's monograph The Kimberley Series is available for purchase now
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Review of Way Out West

If you ever needed reminding that Western Australia is a spectacular state, there is a collection of 45 paintings in this book which will make you want to explore this wonderful part of the country and ‘see those places for yourself,’ as is the intention of the artist, Joel Smoker. He has expertly wielded pastels to convey the vastness and geological timelessness of the land and captured the unique clear blue light of the outback. Sweeping landscapes from Derby in the north to Elephant Rocks, Denmark in the south charm and fascinate. Each picture is accompanied by an interesting and informative narrative. An ideal gift or souvenir that will inspire travel and appreciation of our lovely state.

Review by Elaine Fry
The West Australian today
Tuesday, October 9, 2012, p7.

Way Out West in School Matters

Way Out West review