Discussion with the Artist: “A Voice in Ramah”

Well, I thought I would try out doing a video on my blog. In this video, I talk about the piece, “A Voice in Ramah.”

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/50712791 w=500&h=375]



A Voice in Ramah
Half-life size, plaster with faux bronze patina, 2008
Bronze edition available, price on request
“A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” (Jeremiah 31:15.)
Awarded third prize by Sister Wendy Beckett at the Third Annual Catholic Arts Exhibition at St. Vincent’s College, Latrobe, PA. November, 2010



  1. Marcia Furman on October 3, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Amazing….I really enjoyed hearing about the piece. Very moving. Thank you so much!

  2. Jenn Fisher on October 12, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Her posture illustrates such desperation and vulnerablility, to me. Her open hands – I might have first choosen fists, but fists are too angry, too vengeful. The open hands display a fragility and surrender. I enjoyed your explanation. I hope to hear your thoughts on “Dok Suni: Strong, enduring” too. 🙂

  3. Sarah Wilson on October 19, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    I had no idea it was so big!! I’d love it if you’d do a video blog with you walking around it so we can see it from different angles and get a better sense of its height.

    • hempelstudios on October 19, 2012 at 5:35 pm

      I’m working on getting together some video equipment for just such a thing! The webcam on my laptop doesn’t quite do the trick.

  4. […] And, yet, it was in Kemp Hall where I heard the radio broadcast of the Virginia Tech shootings and I was finishing up a portrait of a boy who had died suddenly. I was, also, working with a model on a seated figure, but was overcome with the radio broadcast and the death of children. The sculpture turned into “A Voice in Ramah.” […]

  5. Bill Kinzer on January 16, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    Thank you for your interview; it is obvious that you care deeply about this woman. Who cannot read those verses and think about the ever whelming grief. I have always thot the children were probably newborn to 6 mo and 2 – 21/2 with all the sweetness those ages carry with them. No time to hide, no refuge, just unbearable loss.

    I would like to ask why you chose to have her unclothed. I thot that strange.

    You have great ability; I wish you great success in your field and joy with your husband and child.

    • hempelstudios on January 20, 2013 at 2:19 pm

      Thanks so much for visiting the site and watching the video. I’m so glad that the piece connected with you. As to her nudity, I chose to do that for a number of reasons. One, the cloth in her lap, you can imagine once held a child and is now glaringly empty. I wanted to show her breasts full, but unable to find relief because her child is no more. Also, there is a thousands of years old tradition in figurative sculpture of portraying ideas as nude figures. Clothing tends to date a work. The experience of grief is universally human and I did not want to limit her to time and space. Did you read my post on “The Nude and the Christian?” Perhaps that will offer more insight! Thanks again!

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