Artwork dishes up environmental message

La Trobe University's Art Institute has attracted a prominent Japanese environmental artist to take part in the Castlemaine State Festival.

Yutaka Kobayashi will reveal his newest art installation to a select group of local citizens and secondary school students in the lead up to the festival.

He is a guest of the La Trobe Art Institute and is staying at the La Trobe University Visual Art Centre in Bendigo.

He said this project, called Solar Mining, is an ecological installation, which draws on the unique cultural heritage of the "Castlemaine Diggings" on which the gold-rush town was built.

"Featuring solar ovens cooking traditional recipes of local citizens, Solar Mining will be a playful and interactive installation where visitors can engage directly with renewable energy, discover the benefits of solar cooking and nurture their advocacy for climate change prevention," he said.

Neil Fettling, Director of the La Trobe Art Institute, said that the University was excited to bring an international artist of Mr Kobayashi's calibre to central Victoria.

"Yutaka Kobayashi is a renowned environmental artists who's undertaken projects in the USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Turkey, Korea, Venezuela and Japan. His work is shaped both by the physicality of the landscapes he inhabits and the communities he works in.

"We're thrilled to partner with the Castlemaine State Festival, both to showcase his work and to raise the profile of the region throughout the international artistic community."

Festival Director Martin Paten said that he "loved seeing how an artist from a vastly different culture to our own has created an artwork inspired by central Victoria's very particular landscape, community and history. Festivals are special in how they can stimulate connections and surprising explorations like Solar Mining."

Yutaka Kobayashi's Solar Mining art instillation will be exhibited at the Castlemaine State Festival from Friday 13 March to Sunday 22 March 2015.