Acknowledgement of Country


Bayadyinyang budyari Dharug yiyura Dharug Ngurra.
Bayady’u budyari Dharug Warunggadgu baranyiin barribugu.
Bayady’u budyari wagulgu yiyuragu Ngurra bimalgu Blacktown City. Flannel flowers dyurali bulbuwul.
Yanmannyang mudayi Dharug Ngurrawa. Walama ngyini budbud dali Dharug Ngurra Dharug yiyura baranyiin barribugu.


We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of this Land, the Dharug people, and their continued connection to Country.
We pay our respects to Elders from yesterday to tomorrow.
We extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples of Blacktown City where the flannel flowers still grow proud and strong.
We will walk softly on this land and open our hearts to Country as the Dharug people have for tens of thousands of years.

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C3West is the Museum of Contemporary Art’s community-driven public art series. Each year C3West engages with a western Sydney location and a selected lead artist to create a project that connects with local communities.

For the 2024 edition, C3West has partnered with Blacktown Arts and Samoan producer and programmer, Leo Tanoi to present a new commission by Aotearoa-born, and now Australia-based, Samoan artist Greg Semu.

Created in collaboration with Blacktown Pasifika communities and the Pacific Islands Mt Druitt Action Network (PIMDAN), takes the iconic paintings of “Birth of Venus” by Sandro Botticelli and “Liberty Leading the People” by Eugene Delacroix as the backdrops to a cast of Pacific community members.

Lifting the Tapu subverts an exclusionary art history, celebrating the resilience, togetherness and healing that Pacific communities have undertaken in the face of many barriers.

Located in Dawson Mall, Mount Druitt, and viewable from 6 am to 6 pm, 7 days a week.


Project Team

Lead Artist: Greg Semu
Co-curator and Cultural Consultant: Leo Tanoi
Senior Curator C3West, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia: Pedro de Almeida
Curator, Blacktown Arts: Talia Smith
First Nations Creative Producer, Blacktown Arts: Ryan Whitworth
Community Consultation: Pacific Islands Mount Druitt Action Network (PIMDAN)
Videographer: Eliya Cohen

Soundtrack Artist: Mali Nakalevu
Soundtrack Producer: Chris Hamer-Smith, Nakama Arts
Artist’s Assistants: Lee Mullen, Pamela Pirovic, Marea Reed, Hannah Teau
Community Models: Maherau Piho-Arona, Melissa June Foster, Glassie Arumaki Glassie, Elina Graf, Jesse Haurua, Siale Langi, Hayes Ma’asi, Shiree Ma’asi, Tanner Ma’asi, Vise Ma’asi, Teremoana Michael, Leamahi Nimmo, Olga Graf-Nimmo, Jakob Onesemo, Joshua Alluai Onesemo, Taofia Pelesasa, Mereana Taruia, Tyde Tupuallei, Tumataora Tutaka, Fillipine Rita Vave, Jocelyn Vave and Monica Vave.


Greg Semu (b. 1971) (he/him) is an internationally recognised artist who was born and raised in Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand and is of Samoan heritage. Working primarily in photography, his work is deeply informed by historic and contemporary diasporas of people and the movement of cultures throughout the Pacific, in tandem with investigations of colonial impacts and legacies on our understanding of art history and cultural objects. Semu has exhibited his since 1994 and has received multiple commissioned projects which have engaged large groups of people and participants in their creation.

C3West is a key program of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA). Since 2002, C3West has brought artists and communities together to create art that directly responds to local concerns in Western Sydney. It partners with local organisations and businesses to identify areas of need, developing artist-led projects that are genuinely collaborative and socially engaged. These close partnerships, a defining feature of C3West, ensures that projects not only centre the experiences and knowledge of communities, but are shaped and enriched by them as well. Over its lifetime C3West has delivered 23 projects, comprising 19 site-specific presentations, four exhibitions, and two conferences with an associated publication.

Lifting the Tapu is produced and presented by the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in partnership with Blacktown Arts and Blacktown City Council. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through Creative Australia, its arts funding and advisory body, and supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.


Image Credits:

Courtesy of Greg Semu

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I’m an Artist

Blacktown Arts supports artists through annual opportunities across prizes, exhibitions, funding opportunities, and studio spaces for local creatives.

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Blacktown City Art Prize

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