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‘Without art, there wouldn’t be a way to tell stories…” Eight-Year-Old Pia on her Exhibition, Pūrākau.

image Pia’s Exhibition Pūrākau is on at Toi Auaha

Eight-year-old Pia Hill is no stranger to staging art exhibitions – at six years old she staged her first exhibition, ‘The Bat Show’ and now she’s about to reveal her second show, Pūrākau, to be held at Toi Auaha as part of the Block Party Art weekend. 

We spoke to Pia about the show.

You’ve done an exhibition before -what was it?

The Bat Show.  I had to change my house around so my room was full of art and we had some food and raised money for the bats because they were endangered.

Did you have mostly paintings or sculptures?

My mum knows a bunch of artists because she is one too and so she asked a bunch of her artist friends to help out and we did lots of paintings, and I did lots of paintings too.

Were they all of bats?

Well, some of them. My friend Simeon did a really funny one, he just brought a cricket bat. Another friend made this really cool bat sculpture. Some of them were paintings and some were little sculptures of bats.

And you painted a bat?

Yep. I still have one at my house.

And were the works for sale?

Some were for sale and we raised money for the bats too.

Now, you’re doing another exhibition for the Block Party – what are you going to do for this show?

I had two ideas. Huia birds and the story of Rona and the Moon. I’ll paint these, but I’m not going to do all of it, I’ll ask some people to help, like I did with The Bat Show.

Do you get to tell people what they can paint?

No, they can paint what they want.

Is this what you want to do when you get older? Be an artist?

Maybe. I’d like to go around the world.

What do you love painting the most?


Do you have any favourite artists?

Yes. Ayesha Green. My mum (Turumeke Harrington).  Wayne Youle. Natalie Jones. Isaac Te Awa. Those are my favourites.

When people come to see your exhibition, what do you want them to feel?

Whatever they want. But I want them to be happy.

And you want to make some money?

Yep. Going around the world isn’t cheap.

Do you think you’ll do some more exhibitions?

Maybe. I like doing them but they’re a lot of effort.

Particularly when you’re eight. Do you have to have a lot of help?

Yeah, I get lots of help from my mum and my grandmother.

Tell me why you think art is important?

Because without art, there wouldn’t be a way to tell stories. Because in the olden days they told stories with art. And books are art. Plants are art too. Anything can be art. Humans can be art, clothes can be art too. It’s really cool.

Pia’s exhibition, Pūrākau, is on at Toi Auaha, 25 November. 10 – 5pm.



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