The winners of the country’s most recognised awards for Indigenous artists have been released.

Janet Fieldhouse took out the $20000 first prize for her work Tattoo, a sculptural installation that uses a light box and transparent porcelain to explore ritual scarification.

Vera Cooper shared the $10000 second prize with Cynthia Vogler for her triptych of ceramic figures, titled Generation, Yorta Yorta Elders and Land and Law Gathering.

She was also awarded the $3000 Victorian prize.

Nancy Wilson and Emily Ngarnal Evans were highly commended for their works, titled Barramundi and Spotted Stingray respectively.

The awards were announced at Shepparton Art Museum.

Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art at the National Gallery of Australia, Tina Baum, who judged the entries, said the award was a powerful example of Indigenous art.

˜˜I was really impressed by the high calibre of works entered and the diversity of communities and artists represented,” she said.

˜˜This made for a hard job to select the winning artists. I congratulate all the short-listed artists and Shepparton Art Museum for continuing to support and highlight such an important art medium for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists today.”

An exhibition containing work by 18 artists short-listed from across Australia will run from February 18 to April 22 at the Shepparton Art Museum.

An exhibition of work by one of the Indigenous Ceramic Art Award’s major patrons, Dr Gloria Fletcher AO, who died last year, will run alongside the Indigenous Ceramic Art Award as a tribute to her generosity and achievements.

The award is supported by the Sir Andrew and Lady Fairley Foundation, Yulgibar Foundation, Margaret Lawrence Bequest and the S. J. Rothfield Fund.