E D U C ATO R G U I D E This Educator Guide was designed for use in conjunction with field trips to the Deep
RIver exhibition, or for use as a standâ€?alone classroom resource. The materials included here contain curriculum connections aligned with Common Core and Georgia Performance Standards for 4th and 5th grade Visual Arts, Language Arts, and Social Studies, but are adaptable for use at other grade levels.
Deep River, Whitfield Lovell, 2013. 56 wood discs, found objects, soil, video projections and sound. Hunter Museum of Art.
Whitfield Lovell is an artist known for incisive and thought-provoking artwork that deals with African American histories, both personal and on a larger scale. Deep River was a project inspired by the artistâ€&#x;s research on Camp Contraband, a safe haven for fleeing slaves. The multi-sensory installation brings up ideas of slavery, freedom, and passage, incorporating both artifacts and anonymous drawn portraits of African Americans during the Civil War. He uses portraits (made from found photographs) in works throughout the exhibition. In his tableaux and Kin series, these drawings, on reclaimed wooden discs or boards, are paired with found objects with some historical significance. How the object and drawing relate to one another is up for interpretation. In combining and re-appropriating these artifacts and photographs Lovell puts them in a new context that allows us to consider how we form ideas about identity, both personal and collective.
Adapted from the Palm Beach Arts Paper. See Resources page for full text.
At the High Museum in Atlanta, Whitfield Lovell was interviewed for an interested audience. “I am a contemporary artist commenting on issues of the past," he said+ "There‟s a need in our culture to look at where we came from to know who we are as a people,” he said+
Whitfield Lovell, 2009.
▪ How can an object enliven a drawing, or bring it to life? What might an object tell about the person it‟s with? ▪ Can you think of an object that you use every day? Something that seems ordinary but might be meaningful? ▪ Why do you think Lovell chooses unknown people instead of famous ones?
Influenced by watching his father developing and printing photographs in the family darkroom, Lovell uses his dad‟s images and old photographs that he collects as reference for life-size conté and charcoal drawings created on tall, worn-wood planks that he finds. He then creates installations that concentrate on the period of time from the Civil War to mid-20th century by combining the images with found objects such as old radios, books, architectural elements, household goods and tools. “The really exciting part of a project,” Lovell said, “is choosing the objects and seeing how they enliven the image and how the image enlivens the objects. I learned about flea markets with my grandma when I was a kid. She would buy and paint flowers on the objects. "I choose objects that look like something my great aunt or grandma might have in their cabin. Someone used it on a daily basis, in some ordinary but meaningful ritual," he said. In the beautifully shaded drawings, one can almost feel the spirit of each subject, as dignified faces peer out from wooden surfaces and the hands imply a gesture or feeling+ Lovell‟s aim is “to evoke a sense of place, to be able to feel the spirit of the past for a moment, to feel the presence of these people+” Whitfield Lovell‟s work is not only technically excellent but gives a voice to subjects who can no longer speak for themselves. Lovell said, “The concept of spirituality — that which is left behind when someone is no longer here — I am acknowledging and honoring the lives of ordinary people+ I rarely make images of famous people+”
(My) Precarious Life, 2008.
Conté crayon on wood; wheel+
Bleck, 2008+ Conté crayon on wood; gloves.
Lenox, 2008+ Conté crayon on wood; radios.
Georgia Performance Standards for Fine Arts Education VA4CU.1/VA5CU.1 Investigates and discovers the personal relationship of artist to the community, the culture, and world through making and studying art. b. Explores and articulates ideas and universal themes from diverse cultures of the past and present. English Language Arts Common Core Georgia Performance Standards ELACC4W3/ELACC5W3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
Introduce your students to the work of Whitfield Lovell. You can use the article on the previous page as a class reading and discussion activity to do so. Take a look at some of Lovell‟s works of art (you can use the blue section above as a half-sheet or look at a wider array of images on the DC Moore Gallery slideshow—you can find the link in the Resources section below). As a class or in small groups, ask students to discuss how they think the objects relate to the visual images. Having discussed Lovell‟s work, ask each of your students to select one work and write a poem in response to the piece and how they interpret it+ Ask questions like „Who was I?‟ as a starting point. The poem can be in any format you think would be best for your students. Ask students to share their poems with the class and explain the meaning they found in the artwork+ „Publish‟ students‟ poems along with images of the artwork somewhere in the classroom, if possible+
Most of Lovell‟s artwork deals with the African American journey in some way+ A significant part of that story deals with freedom and how it came to be. The transition from enslaved to freed person was not always instantaneous or easy. The artist was particularly moved by his experience at the site of a contraband camp near Chattanooga. These temporary camps often served as transitional homes for fleeing slaves on their way to becoming free people during the Civil War.
Georgia Performance Standards for Social Studies SS4H3 The student will explain the factors that shaped British colonial America. b. Describe colonial life in America as experienced by various people, including large landowners, farmers, artisans, women, indentured servants, slaves, and Native Americans. SS4H7 The student will examine the main ideas of the abolitionist and suffrage movements. a. Discuss the biographies of Harriet Tubman and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. b. Explain the significance of Sojourner Truth to the abolition and suffrage movements. SS5H1 The student will explain the causes, major events, and consequences of the Civil War. a+ Identify Uncle Tom‟s Cabin and John Brown‟s raid on Harper‟s Ferry, and explain how each of these events was related to the Civil War. b. Discuss how the issues of states‟ rights and slavery increased tensions between the North and South. e. Describe the effects of war on the North and South. English Language Arts Common Core Georgia Performance Standards ELACC4W3/ELACC5W3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences. Georgia Performance Standards for Fine Arts Education VA4CU.1/VA5CU.1 Investigates and discovers the personal relationship of artist to the community, the culture, and world through making and studying art. b. Explores and articulates ideas and universal themes from diverse cultures of the past and present. VA4CU.2/VA5CU.2 Views and discusses selected artworks. a. Identifies elements, principles, themes, and/ or time period in a work of art. b. Discusses how social events inspire art from a given time period. VA4C.1/VA5C.1 Applies information from other disciplines to enhance the understanding and production of artworks. a. Makes interdisciplinary connections applying art skills, knowledge to improve understanding in other disciplines.
This article can offer a good point of departure for a discussion of Whitfield Lovell‟s Deep River and what inspired it. Ideally, this will activity will serve as a pre-activity for your class prior to visiting the exhibition. However, if your students are unable to see the work in person, you can examine this installation and others by visiting websites listed in the Resources section of this guide. Explain a bit about Whitfield Lovell and his work as an artist. As a class, read through the article at right, explaining words highlighted in bold (if needed). The questions at left can spark a discussion about what the journey to freedom might have looked and felt like for the African Americans at these camps. Students can internalize the journey by considering the significance of the objects included and deciding what items they would have brought.
Adapted from an article by Antoinette van Zelm. See Resources page for full text.
For thousands of former slaves in Tennessee, contraband camps played an important role in the transition (shift) to freedom during the Civil War+ The term “contraband,” first used for runaway slaves in 1861, became a commonly used term for African Americans who flocked to Union army lines. After Union forces gained control of West Tennessee in the spring and summer of 1862, many former slaves sought Henri Lovie. The Camp of the Contrabands on the Banks refuge (safety) at the army‟s camps+ In of the Mississippi, Fort Pickering, Memphis, Tenn, 1862. November, near the crossing of two railroad American Antiquarian Society. lines in Tennessee, General Ulysses S. Grant established the first contraband camp in the state that would care for women, children, and men unable to work. By the end of the war, there were camps near Union military outposts (small military camps) throughout Tennessee. ▪ How do you think For men, women, and children, contraband camps were temporary wayyou would have felt as a slave fleeing stations on the journey to freedom. They carried all the dangers of life to a contraband within a war zone. Made up of a variety of shelters, often quickly built camp? by the residents (people who lived there) themselves, some became overcrowded with very high mortality rates, and many former slaves ▪ What would you avoided the camps altogether. At the same time, camp residents began have taken with to establish themselves as free persons, working for the war effort, you? joining the Union army, attending schools run by charitable ▪ What does it organizations, holding political rallies and emancipation (freedom) mean to be free? celebrations, marrying legally for the first time, and establishing Do you think the churches. Many camps, like those in Memphis, Chattanooga, and people in these Nashville, evolved into African American neighborhoods after the war. camps felt free?
Whitfield Lovell was inspired to create Deep River by visiting the site of a contraband camp in Tennessee. As you look at the objects and sketches of people from that era, consider what it must have been like to be in a camp like that then.
Deep River, Whitfield Lovell, 2013. 56 wood discs, found objects, soil, video projections and sound. Hunter Museum of Art.
The drawings in Whitfield Lovell‟s artwork come from photographs that he has found over the years+ The phrase „found photography‟ or „found object‟ refers to the fact that these items existed for another purpose before the artist put them in a new context. The photographs that Lovell uses range from mugshots and ID photos to images from photobooths and professional studios. He then makes them more personal by sketching each one by hand onto a piece of reclaimed (reused) wood. Finally, he typically combines the drawing with a found object. From there we as viewers draw our own conclusions about the person. In combining all these layers, he has created a story.
Georgia Performance Standards for Social Studies SS4H3 The student will explain the factors that shaped British colonial America. b. Describe colonial life in America as experienced by various people, including large landowners, farmers, artisans, women, indentured servants, slaves, and Native Americans. SS4H7 The student will examine the main ideas of the abolitionist and suffrage movements. a. Discuss the biographies of Harriet Tubman and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. b. Explain the significance of Sojourner Truth to the abolition and suffrage movements. SS5H1 The student will explain the causes, major events, and consequences of the Civil War. a+ Identify Uncle Tom‟s Cabin and John Brown‟s raid on Harper‟s Ferry, and explain how each of these events was related to the Civil War. b. Discuss how the issues of states‟ rights and slavery increased tensions between the North and South. e. Describe the effects of war on the North and South. English Language Arts Common Core Georgia Performance Standards ELACC4W3/ELACC5W3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences. Georgia Performance Standards for Fine Arts Education VA4AR.2/VA5AR.2 Uses a variety of approaches to understand and critique works of art. a. Develops multiple strategies for responding to and reflecting on artworks (e.g., formal and informal art criticism techniques). b. Explains features of a work, including media, subject matter, and formal choices, that influence meaning. d. Interprets and evaluates artworks through thoughtful discussion and speculation about the mood, theme, and intentions of those who created a work of art.
Whitfield Lovell uses a unique process to create his multimedia works of art. What better way to acquaint your students with his process than by trying it themselves? The process, of course, has been modified slightly here to use both art and writing as ways to tell a story. First have your students examine the work of Whitfield Lovell together. [You can use the sheet at right as a double-sided handout+] As laid out below, Lovell‟s works begin with sketches he makes from found photographs. From there he sometimes adds objects that enhance the meaning of the image in some way. Just how the object speaks to the drawing may differ, though. After having some understanding of what Lovell does as an artist, have your students look at their own old photographs. The back of the sheet includes some examples of daguerreotypes, one of the earliest forms of photography, from the mid-1800s. Your students can choose one of these or from others you select (see the Resources section) as inspiration for writing their own narrative. Once they‟ve completed their writing, they can display them with the photograph and an object (or drawing of an object) that they believe complements their story.
Whitfield Lovell creates drawings of people he‟s never met+ He finds them by collecting old photographs. In copying the photos, he wants us to examine the person in a way we might not have before. Looking at the image at left, what can you tell about the person he has drawn? What makes you say that?
Kin XV (Seven Breezes), Whitfield Lovell. 2008, Conté on paper+
Lovell has taken the original work of art (the photograph) out of its original context and re-created a likeness of the person here, without any context at all. We have to decide for ourselves what this person might have been like. Now consider the work to the right. We have another drawing but also an object to go
along with it.
What do you think the connection is between the two?
Did the artist choose the bell because he was a teacher or a firefighter? Or just because the shape and texture were similar to his face and glasses?
Again, we have to decide what we think the connection is between the two. Can you guess at more about this person?
Kin XXXVII (Cancion de Cuba), Whitfield Lovell. 2011, Conté on paper; fire alarm bell.
Here we have even more information. The artist shows three full-length figures along with several objects around them. What can you tell about the people Lovell has drawn?
How do you think the objects relate to those people?
What statement do you think the artist is trying to make? Why do you think that?
Autour du Monde (Around the World), Whitfield Lovell. 2008, Conté on wood panels; globes+
These works of art and the stories they tell were all inspired first by a single photo. Turn this sheet over to create your own narrative based on an anonymous photograph.
Here youâ€&#x;ll use an old photograph as the inspiration for your story, just like Whitfield Lovell has done+ Choose a photograph and consider what that personâ€&#x;s life was like+ Ask yourself where they might have lived, what work they did, and what sort of personality they might have had.
John Hanson. c. 1856-1860. Library of Congress, LC-USZ6-1924.
Unidentified Woman. c. 1844-1860. Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-109878 .
Occupational portrait. c. 1853. Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-106400.
Occupational Portrait. c. 1850-1860. Library of Congress, LC-USZ6-2046 .
These images and more daguerreotypes can be found at the Library of Congress link in the Resources section.
Now that you‟ve chosen a photograph, it‟s time to begin the writing process+ You can probably tell something about the person from their photograph, but you‟ll have you use your imagination too+ Use this sheet to organize your thoughts in the planning stages before you begin writing.
Use this space to organize your thoughts before beginning your writing. Consider what you can infer (guess) about this person by looking at their photograph and then get creative+ Decide what kind of story you‟d like to tell about them+
What object would accompany your subject (person)? Draw a sketch here and write a sentence explaining why this object fits with this person in the story you will write.
In addition to being an insightful artist, Whitfield Lovell is also a talented draftsman. His ability to sketch the people found in these photos in hyper realistic style is evident looking at any of his works+ Because his sketches, often done with conté (graphite or charcoal mixed with wax), are monochromatic, his manipulation of value to achieve shape, form, and texture is evident. Value is simply the lightness or darkness of tones of color. In learning how to vary it appropriately students can achieve more realistic effects in their artwork.
Georgia Performance Standards for Fine Arts Education VA4MC.1/VA5MC.1 Engages in the creative process to generate and visualize ideas. VA4MC.3/VA5MC.3 Selects and uses subject matter, symbols, and/or ideas to communicate meaning. c. Observes how the visual relationship of objects and ideas (juxtaposition) affects contrast and/or proportion and how placement may affect meaning and/or significance. VA4CU.1/VA5CU.1 Investigates and discovers the personal relationship of artist to the community, the culture, and world through making and studying art. b. Explores and articulates ideas and universal themes from diverse cultures of the past and present. VA4CU.2/VA5CU.2 Views and discusses selected artworks. a. Identifies elements, principles, themes, and/ or time period in a work of art. b. Discusses how social events inspire art from a given time period. VA4PR.1/VA5PR.1 Creates artworks based on personal experience and selected themes. b. Makes design decisions as the result of conscious, thoughtful planning and choices. e. Creates representational art works from direct observation (e.g., landscape, still life, portrait.) g. Combines materials in new and inventive ways to make a finished work of art. VA4PR.2/VA5PR.2 Understands and applies media, techniques, and processes of two-dimensional art processes (drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed-media) using tools and materials in a safe and appropriate manner to develop skills. 4/5a. Produces drawings with a variety of media (e.g., pencils, crayons, pastels, and charcoal). 4c. Uses shading (changes in value) to create depth and model form. 5b. Draws images from careful observation. 5d. Creates drawings using a variety of techniques (e.g. contour line) 5f. Uses color schemes in a work of art (e.g. analogous, monochromatic, complementary, etc.)
Introduce, or reintroduce, the notion of value to your students. Show some examples from Lovell‟s work (found in the Resources section) or elsewhere+ The following sheets (which can be used as a handout) provides one of his sketches as an example. Guide your students to look carefully at the drawings—notice how the light values look like reflected light while the dark areas create shadows. Note also the interspersing of light and dark that helps create a sense of texture in the hair. If you want students to get more practice with this principle, you can add a warm-up activity. One fun activity is using old black and white photos as the detail of a work of art, and continuing it from there with pencil. Then students can try creating their own self-portraits—ideally with charcoal, or a material similar to the conté Lovell uses+ The finished portraits can then be combined with an everyday object, as Lovell often does. These everyday objects should embody today‟s society; they can even be combined to create a time capsule among your students+
Whitfield Lovell copied this person‟s face from a photograph. But how did he make it look so real? The answer is value. Value is how light or dark a color is. The lightest value is white. And the darkest value is black. Just by using various hues in between black and white, Lovell is able to create the illusion of depth, light, and form. Take a look at this drawing to see how he achieves this. Kin IX (To Make Your False Heart True), detail.
▪ Notice where your face creates shadows—like above your lip or around your nose.
▪ Notice where the light is and how that affects the value you see.
Whitfield Lovell+ 2008, Conté on paper+
In which areas do you see the lightest value (closest to white)? What effect does that have?
In which areas do you see the darkest value (closest to black)? What effect does that have?
What kinds of texture do you see? How did the artist use value to make different areas look like they felt different?
▪ Smearing and smudging are good— don‟t be afraid to get dirty.
Using a mirror, create your own monochromatic (using only one color) self portrait. Spend some time really noticing details—like where the light is hitting your face and creating shadows. Use variations in value to create a sense of depth. Once you‟ve made your self portrait, you can pair it with an object as Lovell often does. He often chose ordinary items that would have been used at the time the person lived+ Choose an object that you think reflects today‟s society to accompany your portrait. These could even be combined to create a time capsule to capture life today. Kin XXX (Milk and Honey). Whitfield Lovell.
2008, Conté on paper; shooting gallery target++
In this section you will find resources referred to in earlier materials as well as additional reference materials for you and your students.
Palm Beach Arts Paper: In Atlanta, the Tableaux of Whitfield Lovell http://palmbeachartspaper.com/index.php/876-artsbuzz-inatlanta-the-tableaux-of-whitfield-lovell.html This article covers the 2009 public interview with Whitfield Lovell at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. In it, the author succinctly describes his work and the artist explains the thought and meaning behind his actions.
The Brooklyn Rail: Whitfield Lovell with John Yau http://www.brooklynrail.org/2006/07/art/whitfield-lovell This in-depth interview may be too advanced for younger students but it offers excellent insights into Lovell‟s background and where he‟s coming from as an artist+ It serves to illuminate his ideas about identity and the African American history in this country.
DC Moore Gallery: Whitfield Lovell http://www.dcmooregallery.com/artists/whitfield-lovell This website contains an invaluable resource in its slideshow—with high-resolution photographs of many of the artist‟s work from different series. This can serve as an excellent tool to begin discussions or inspire students for projects, as well as serve as a virtual field trip for those unable to visit the museum.
Library of Congress: Daguerreotype Database http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/dag/ This searchable database allows users to comb through about 700 daguerreotypes, some of the earliest forms of photography. One can search for various types of portraiture (political, Civil War, etc.) but to find anonymous people, the term „occupational portrait‟ may be most useful.
Civil War Shades: Contraband Camps http://www.civilwarshades.org/building-a-future/contrabandcamps/ Civil War Shades is a project run by several university libraries and historic preservation organizations in Tennessee. This article (modified in the educator guide text above) provides a simple synopsis, as well historic images, of the contraband camps in Tennessee like the one that inspired Whitfield Lovell.
Library of Congress American Memories: The Civil War http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/aaohtml/exhibit/aopart4.html This page, part of the African American Odyssey exhibition, examines the Civil War as experienced by African Americans. This particular section includes items pertaining to the struggle for freedom, including primary and secondary sources about contraband camps.
Pinterest: Value/Scale Drawing http://www.pinterest.com/TheresaWooley/value-scale-drawingart-ed/ This site offers a variety of resources, reference materials, and lesson ideas to supplement lessons on value and shading. They are for a variety of grade levels but easily adaptable for your students.
Visual Thinking Strategies http://www.vtshome.org/ As the name suggests, this website is focused on the basics and advantages of visual thinking strategies and particularly how to incorporate them into the classroom. It is full of invaluable resources to be used in many areas of the curriculum.
Have your students done amazing work inspired by our museums or exhibitions? We want to hear about it! The education department works to promote the use of the arts in all areas of the classroom; we‟d love to hear from you about what you‟re working on+ Your class‟s work may even be featured on Telfair Museums‟ Facebook page+ Email Glenna at barlowg@telfair+org+
The Educator Guide will prepare you for tour content, but what about tour procedures? Keep things running smoothly with this list.
Don‟t worry, we will go over these again on your arrival, but it does help if students have heard them from you first. Explore with your eyes, not your hands. Telfair Museums was created in order to share art and knowledge. We take special care of the art in our collections so that it can be shared for a long, long time. Even the gentlest touches can add up to harmful results. Point with your words, not your finger. Even if you know not to touch, if you point too closely to a part of a painting or sculpture, you might accidentally touch it. Instead of pointing, describe what you want to point out using words like “in the center,” “at the bottom,” “next to the corner,” “to the right,” “above,” and “below+” Walk and move carefully. Follow your docent. Take your time, watch where you are going, and hold onto handrails while using the stairs. Listen carefully, raise your hand, speak clearly but quietly. The museum is a place for thinking and learning. The same rules that make learning easier in a classroom are used here too. Eating, drinking, and chewing gum are not allowed. Photography is not allowed.
Our docents are dedicated volunteers. Your prompt notification regarding cancellations or late arrival helps prevent mismanagement of the time they so generously donate. To cancel a tour, please call 912.790.8827 If you will be more than 10 minutes late, or are cancelling the day of the tour, please inform the Telfair Academy museum receptionist at 912.790.8871 or the Jepson Center receptionist at 912.790.8802. Before you enter the museum/get off the bus, divide into groups with an adult in each. When you check in at the admission desk, please provide the number of students and chaperones to the front desk staff and check backpacks, lunches, and jackets. Stay with the group you have been assigned to. Maintain discipline without interrupting the docent. Proximal control works great! Bathroom Breaks: Academy bathrooms are located in the basement level. There is a bathroom on the third floor in the touring area, but its use during tours interferes with student attentiveness. Reserve it for emergency use only. Please let us know about your experience. We are constantly evaluating and improving our programs. Your observations and ideas are a valuable resource. Please share them at 912.790.8827.
Spanning the years 1810â€“1896, this exhibition examines the core concepts of the romantic movement as it unfolded in fine art of the American South. Having originated in European literature and art, romanticism found its way to America. The same ideals found in the canvases of the Hudson River School also colored the art of painters who found their inspiration and audience in the South. The group of paintings here includes landscapes, genre paintings, still lifes, portraits and history paintings, allowing for a discussion on a range of topics, both artistic and historic. Our featured tours for this exhibition are
geared towards grades 3, 4, 5 and 8, but can be adapted for any age group.
This exhibition, Port City, traces the history of the Savannah River and Savannahâ€&#x;s ports through etchings, maps, paintings, and photographs over the course of nearly 300 years. From the earliest uses of the river by Tomochichi and Oglethorpe, up through the tourist vessels on River Street and big ships on the river, this exhibition traces that story through art. There are a wide range of works on view which give a comprehensive view of our beloved river and its complex history. Our featured tours for this exhibition are
geared towards grade 8, but can be adapted for any age group.
Savannah Collects is a unique exhibition with an eclectic mix of objects each acquired by a local Savannah household. The works of art provide insight into the people of Savannah while also showcasing art with a wide range of styles, subjects, and media. This variety of artwork provides an ideal forum to discuss larger ideas of art, such as how we value art and what universal themes appeal to both the artist and the viewer. Our featured tours for this exhibition are geared
towards grades 5 and 6, but can be adapted for any age group.
As an educator, you are eligible for a special membership rate! Our $35 Educator‟s Membership entitles you to all of the following:
Unlimited free admission to the Telfair Museums three sites for one year [Telfair Academy, Jepson Center for the Arts, and Owens Thomas House]
Invitations to special members-only events and lectures
Discounted rates for art classes (for all ages) and children‟s summer camps
10* discount at the Telfair Museums‟ three stores and the Jepson Café
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It pays to join! Visit www.telfair.org or call 912.790.8866.
Whitfield Lovell: Deep River was organized by the Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Whitfield Lovell is an artist known for incisive and thought-provoking artwork that deals with African American histories, both personal and...
Published on Aug 5, 2014
Whitfield Lovell is an artist known for incisive and thought-provoking artwork that deals with African American histories, both personal and...