North Manchester, IN, USA
Hannah Burnworth is the artist behind Milk House Studio. Burnworth has degrees in both art education and studio art. She has been teaching art in Indiana public schools and through private workshops for the last 14 years. In addition to teaching, Burnworth loves to create all things paper. Her collage, paintings and paper sculpture celebrate creativity and design, bringing together a love for texture, color, nature and the beauty of everyday life through motherhood. Burnworth has shown her work both regionally and nationally. Her most recent solo shows were housed at Manchester University and Wunderkammer. She resides in North Manchester, IN with her husband and two boys.
Manila envelopes, old paintings and drawings, vintage book pages, and handmade papers: I am fascinated by paper of all kinds. Paper, along with my primary adhesive, thread, is the backbone of my work. Varying from mixed media pieces to books to paper sculptures, my compositions intuitively fall into place. I pull from paper piles, adding each unique piece of color and texture to the story. Pieces dance on the page, dependent on each other to create something new, unique and beautiful.
I make about play, nature and motherhood, and especially about the intersection of all three. At times, my work is straight forward; it might be a game, a stack of blocks, a walk in the woods, or a moment spent with my children I wish to hold in place with color or texture. Sometimes it is a more specific commentary about the stretch and squeeze of motherhood and the inability to gracefully handle even the smallest tasks. Ultimately, my work is about the way I spend time as a person and mother, and the connections I make to my family and friends.
Each piece in this series called “Circus” was created during the lock down phase of quarantine. As I spent my time balancing dishes, laundry, meals, and an endless list of other daily tasks, I began to spin. I was teaching virtually, my husband was teaching virtually, and both of my children were attending school virtually. My husband and I became our children’s only playmates. I spent my days in fits and starts of countless activities, stepping over legos, and glueing arms back onto action figures, until I finally collapsed into bed. The only way I could make sense of the spinning and squeezing and laughing and crying was to make. Making was my playtime and release, and I think that is truly represented in “Circus.
"For me, motherhood began with vomiting and an obsession with Dr. Pepper, a soda drink that I never drank before. Then the guilt started. No lunch meat, no tonic water. Don’t run too far or jump too high. Labor and delivery were a blur of tears, arriving too late at the hospital for the epidural. And despite the euphoria of my newborn son lying skin to skin on my chest, I was experiencing an exhaustion that I never knew possible. The first night at home I called the help hotline three times, sure that Ira would stop breathing. And then I fell far, emotionally far, for months. Until one morning, once Ira was able to sit in his bumbo seat, I put him on our table and I began to collage again for the first time in months. He giggled and I snipped. Art saved me. It turned into a daily practice that reconnected me with myself and taught me how to be a new mother."