Toby Cedar is a proud Torres Strait Island man born in Dampier Western Australia in 1978 who now resides in Townsville North Queensland. His bloodlines being from both Eastern and Western Islands of the Torres Strait.
He comes from the Peiudu tribe Erub (Darnley Island) with his lubabat (totem) being Waumer (frigate bird), Beizam (shark), Deumer (Torres Strait pigeon) and wind identity – Koki (North West). And Samsep-Meriam tribe Mer (Murray Island) his lubabat are Korseimer (moth), Deumer (Torres Strait pigeon), Beizam (tiger shark), Sap (driftwood) and wind identity – Sager(southeast) from his father’s side.
His parents moved to mainland Australia from the islands like many Torres Strait people for work on the railway which took them to Western Australia. Toby though growing up in W.A was always surrounded by his Torres Strait culture with a large family and Torres Strait community around him. He was taught the importance of his culture by his elders who passed down to him traditional ways, practices and protocols.
Toby now works out of his workshop creating his art and also doing wide format sublimation printing.
Toby’s successful art journey so far includes him participating in his first art competition in 2011 in the Gosford Art Prize with both of the works he entered being selected as finalists and went on exhibition at the Gosford regional Gallery.
From there Toby has sold many of his works including to private collectors for their own collections, universities, the Australian Navy, Cairns Regional Gallery and has had three of his pieces acquired from the National Gallery of Australia for the National collection. Toby is heavily influenced by his Torres Strait culture, his totems, and particularly his Father’s stories his youth on the Islands, hunting, fishing, gardening, dance and family life.
Dance is very important in Torres Strait Culture, Toby dances regularly dancing traditional Eastern Island dances and also new dances which Toby with the help of his father has choreographed and written words for.