Artist shares environmental message in UV paints

UV art - Holly Hughes

UV art – Holly Hughes

Holly brings underwater landscape to life with UV paints. Dive into the fluorescent underwater world without getting wet at the Mary Valley Art Festival this year.

You will simply have to enter a dark room to experience the unique new art concept of ultra violet paint used on a different kind of canvas – surfboards.

Kandanga artist Holly Hughes is being helped by Government funding to display her art and encourage people to be more aware of nature’s wonders such as the Great Barrier Reef.
The project was supported by Gympie Regional Council and the Queensland Government through the Regional Arts Development Fund.
The young artist is a fan of the breathtaking colours and species that can be found beneath the water’s surface. She intends to bring this “wow factor” to her artwork at the festival, which opens on June 29 and runs to July 2 at the Imbil Public Hall in the Mary Valley.

“I want to share experiences that normally only a diver would see and feel, while at the same time educating the audience about a unique form of art,” Holly said.

“I want people to understand what we will lose if we don’t change the way we live and impact our environment.

UV art - Holly Hughes“A lot of people are unaware of the beauties that aquatic life beholds; particularly the chemical compounds in their tissues making them glow and react to UV lighting.

“What the naked eye would see as pale colours immediately become brilliant reds, purples and greens with the addition of a UV light source. These animals are the main inspiration for the artworks created for the exhibit.”

Holly believes the Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s most famous and iconic natural beauties, but she worries about its continued existence due to the impacts of man-made constructions and arrogance.

To enhance the effects of her UV art, Holly will add ChromaDepth to her display. Simply put, participants wear 3D glasses that use sophisticated micro-optics to transform colour images into true stereo 3D.

“These glasses produce a stereoscopic effect based upon the differences in the diffraction of colour produced through a glass prism,” she said.

“The glasses trick the eye into seeing the illusion of colours taking up different positions in space, red being the closest to the front and blue/violet at the back.”

Holly is a repeat winner at the Mary Valley Art Festival and is excited to be demonstrating new concepts this year.
Entries have just closed and information about the festival can be found online at or email

%d bloggers like this: