ICA 2022: Announcing the finalists

The finalists of the 2022 Shepparton Art Museum Indigenous Ceramic Award have been selected, with the unveiling of the contending works set for 13 August 2022.

Now in its seventh iteration, the 2022 Indigenous Ceramic Award (ICA) embarked on a nation-wide callout, inviting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and collectives from all over Australia to submit their entries to the prize. From within the strong contention, 26 artists were shortlisted by the judging panel, which this year consisted of Museums Victoria Senior Curator Kimberley Moulton (Yorta Yorta), leading contemporary artist Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, and artist and 2018 ICA finalist Penny Evans (Gamilaraay/Gomeroi).

Penny Evans said of the award:

“A diverse range of works submitted for the 2022 ICA from a broad range of practices will make for a vibrant and interesting exhibition of contemporary Indigenous ceramics at the new SAM.”

Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran says:

“It’s amazing to see diverse entries this year that reflect dynamic ways clay has been used by First Nations artists around the country. There is a porosity to this medium that lends itself to personal, political and imaginative explorations. Shepparton Art Museum, with its extensive ceramics collection and resources is the perfect context for this award. I can’t wait to see the exhibition and to re-energise ways we think about ceramics.”  

Kimberley Moulton says:

"This national Indigenous art award shares with us the breadth of First Peoples creative practice and new ways of working. It's exciting to see artists that are stepping into ceramics in experimental ways, pushing their practice and materiality, and also artists that are familiar with this medium creating dynamic works that share story and knowledge. It is not only a strong representation of the talent in the nation, but it is significant to see the works in the award at Shepparton Art Museum in dialogue with the expansive ceramics collection of the organisation which is important in profiling the role First Peoples artists have in the national and international discourse of ceramic arts."

Presented on Yorta Yorta Country, the award provides a national platform to share personal, historical and deep cultural learnings from artists and Country. It celebrates and supports the rich and diverse use of the ceramic medium by Indigenous artists and acknowledges the special industry of ceramic art. There are three major prizes for finalists to secure: The Major Acquisitive Prize of $20,000, South-East Australian Aboriginal Artist Prize of $5,000 and the People’s Choice Award of $1,500.

In a further adaptation to its format, the 2022 ICA will see the inclusion of a selected feature artist, who will exhibit a new body of work parallel to the finalists’ works. In addition to sitting on the judging panel, Penny Evans has been commissioned as this year’s feature artist, and will create a site-responsive ceramic work that celebrates Indigenous ceramicists and their long-standing connection to clay.

Belinda Briggs, SAM Indigenous Curator, says:

“The ICA continues to showcase exciting, thoughtful, and deeply considered works from artists just beginning through to those more established, representing a diverse range of communities. It’s also a privilege to have Penny return to the ICA in two capacities as both judge and feature artist. We welcome her extensive experience of over 30 years of practice and knowledge to the Award - we can't wait to see this new body of work inspired by her Gamilaraay/Gomeroi Country in our new gallery.”

The SAM ICA 2022 exhibition will open on Saturday 13 August, and will be on display until 4 December 2022. The official opening and award ceremony will be held at SAM on Saturday 8 October 2022, accompanied by a cultural program on 8 and 9 October celebrating the artists and the rich history of ceramics within Aboriginal and First Nations culture.

Announcing the 2022 ICA finalists 

 Alfred Lowe, Arrernte (NT) 

Alison Milyika Carroll, Pukatja / Pitjantjatjara (NT)  

Anne Thompson, Pukatja/ Pitjantjatjara (NT)  

Bankstown Koori Elders Group (NSW) 

  • Lorna Morgan Waka-Waka, Darumbal (North Queensland), Lillian Johnson Waka-Waka, Gubbi Gubbi (North Queensland), Gloria Peronchik Waka-Waka Gangulu (North Queensland), Beverley Gilmartin Wiradjuri (NSW), Victoria Woods Wiradjuri (NSW), Margaret Foat, Bowenstick (S.A), Lola Simmons Wailwan (Central NSW), John Simmons Non Aboriginal

Beth Inkamala Mbitjana, Ntaria Western Aranda (NT)

Billy Bain, Darug (NSW) 

Carlene Thompson, Pukatja / Pitjantjatjara (NT)  

Debbie Taylor – Worley, Gamilaraay/Gomeroi (NSW)  

Elisa Jane Carmichael, Ngugi (QLD) 

Elizabeth Dunn, Pukatja / Pitjantjatjara (NT) 

Hayley Coulthard Panangka, Ntaria Western Aranda (NT)  

Jock Puautjimi, Tiwi (NT) 

Megan Croydon, Kuku Yalanji (QLD) 

Philip Denham, Girramay (QLD) 

Philomena Yeatman, Gunggandji (QLD) 

Rupert Jack, Pukatja/ Pitjantjatjara (NT) 

Sean Miller, Gamilaroi (NSW) 

Tjunkaya Tapaya OAM, Pukatja/ Pitjantjatjara (NT)  

Vivian Pingkayi Thompson, Pukatja / Pitjantjatjara (NT) 


Highlights of the 2022 ICA

  • 27 artists will exhibit as finalists, plus one feature artist
  • 16 language groups represented
  • Prizes
    • Major Acquisitive Prize


  • South-East Australian Aboriginal Artist Prize


  • People’s Choice Award


  • Judging panel: Kimberley Moulton (Yorta Yorta), Museums Victoria Senior Curator; Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, leading contemporary artist; Penny Evans (Gamilaraay/Gomeroi), 2018 ICA finalist


About SAM:

Shepparton Art Museum (SAM), located on Yorta Yorta Country, is one of Australia's outstanding regional art museums, showcasing our exhibitions and collections in new and exciting ways and creating a welcoming, inclusive, and engaging space for all audiences. Artists are central to our work. Our programming is designed to be locally relevant and engage with global contemporary ideas. SAM is recognised for its significant Australian ceramics collection, and our nationally significant collection of Indigenous art. As the only public art museum in Greater Shepparton and north central Victoria, our mission is to present great art in Shepparton, and to contribute to the cultural enrichment, community engagement and economic prosperity of the region. 

Media enquiries, please contact: Louise Tremper, Marketing Coordinator, SAM

p: (03) 4804 5026 e: ltremper@sheppartonartmuseum.com.au