Judith Clark and Adam Phillips: The Concise Dictionary of Dress
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The Concise Dictionary of Dress is a project conceived by a curator of costume, Judith Clark and a writer and psychoanalyst, Adam Phillips. The project is formed around eleven written definitions of words, and eleven related visual displays clothing and clothing-related objects that have been placed within the various spaces of Blythe House.
Blythe House is the storage facility of the Victoria and Albert Museum. A five-storey Victorian building, it houses the V&A’s collections of ceramics, textiles, furniture, and fashion when they are not on display in the Museum.
The Concise Dictionary of Dress is experienced at Blythe House as a walk through the building in groups of a maximum of seven people, each group guided by a member of Artangel’s staff.
The tours will cover five floors, including a roof space, and will last roughly an hour. Because of the nature of the exhibition, the tours are not suitable for under-12s.
Artangel’s staff will do whatever is possible to meet your access and/or communication needs in relation to this project. We are able to send copies of printed information about the work to visitors in advance upon request. Please see the contact details in this document for ways to get in touch.
Tours operate Wednesday through Sunday, departing every 20 minutes from 1pm on weekdays (last tour starts at 7:40pm), and from 11am on weekends (last tour starts at 5:40pm).
For information on booking, opening and running times, please call the Front of House Manager during exhibition hours on 07982 976596, or Artangel’s office at other times on 020 7713 1400. Alternatively, contact Artangel via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This venue for The Concise Dictionary of Dress is Blythe House, 23 Blythe Road, London W14 0QX.
Getting to the venue
Kensington Olympia is the nearest underground and national rail station.
The station is served by overground trains and the District line on the underground network.
To get to Blythe House from the station, you need to walk down Maclise Road and then bear right onto Hazlitt Road that leads onto Blythe Road.
Other Underground stations within 10-15 minutes walk are:
Barons Court (District and Piccadilly lines)
Hammersmith (District, Hammersmith and City and Piccadilly lines)
Shepherd’s Bush (Central and Hammersmith and City lines)
West Kensington (District line)
Buses 9, 10, 27, 28 and 391 go to Olympia
There is a nearby bus stop at North End Road. If you walk along Hammersmith Road then bear left onto Lyons Walk, it leads onto Blythe Road.
There are three bus services with stops on either side of Hammersmith Road.
The routes served are:
10 Hammersmith Bus Station - Wharfdale Road
27 Turnham Green Church - Chalk Farm Morrisons
9 Hammersmith Bus Station- Aldwych
See http://journeyplanner.tfl.gov.uk/ for an advanced search taking into account specific access barriers.
There is paid car parking at Kensington Olympia; pay parking is also available at Olympia Hilton NCP, 380 Kensington High Street, W14 8NL.
We can, by prior arrangement, organise parking at the venue for those who need to arrive by car because of access requirements. Please call us to discuss.
Blythe House is not within the Congestion charge zone.
Arriving at the venue
The entrance to Blythe House is via a turnstile at the south east corner of the building (Gate A, between No.1 Blythe Road and the Post Office). Those with special access requirements can gain access through the double gates.
There is a voice-intercom at the turnstile. Visitors can gain access by pressing the buzzer.
Those being dropped off by taxis are advised to be dropped at Gate A, adjacent to the turnstile.
Please be aware that this is a working site. Cars/ lorries will access the gate adjacent to the turnstile so be careful when crossing the driveway onto the demarcated path.
Inside the premises signs will direct you to a yellow bollard, from here cross the driveway onto pathway on the left which leads towards the building on your left, to be signed in and given your visitor pass. There is an enclosed waiting area outside the meeting room in which you are advised to wait if you arrive early.
Large bags and coats must be left at the start of the tour. Lockers are available. Umbrellas will be provided on the roof and at the lower exit for adverse weather conditions
From this meeting point, you will be guided onwards by a member of staff.
Access, general notes
Blythe House has limited access in a number of areas, including confined areas, narrow doorways and a spiral staircase leading up to the roof. There is limited wheelchair access throughout Blythe House due to the complexity of the building.
Fluorescent lighting is used widely throughout the building. There is considerable variation in the brightness of the light throughout the building. Some rooms are accessed first by the guide, and lights switched on before visitors are invited to enter.
We are offering special access tours during the exhibition. Please be aware that these tours are a shortened version of the whole route. We are happy to supply you with documentation about the other exhibits. Please get in touch with Artangel directly to book on to one of these tours.
About the Tour
Tours begin at car park level, where a goods lift that closes horizontally will transport visitors to the fourth floor of the building.
Upon exiting the lift, visitors will be directed to ascend a narrow spiral staircase (97cm/20 steps – the treads on this staircase are open metal framework) to reach the roof. At the top of the spiral stair visitors exit via a doorway onto the roof and cover some 70 metres outside, via the first exhibit to return back to a door that leads back to the interior of the building. The roof surface is painted silver, and strongly reflective in sunlight. Rubber matting marks the visitors route.
In wet weather conditions, visitors will be given an umbrella as they go onto the roof.
23 stairs lead down to the fourth floor, and into FF15 to view exhibits 2, 3, and 4.
There is a narrow route through FF15 (87cm) to exit that space, and then to FF45. Visitors will need to enter one-by-one to see exhibit 5. The lighting will be dimmed here.
14 stairs lead from here to the Third Floor Mezzanine, through which visitors pass to view exhibits 6 and 7.
Down a further 14 stairs visitors enter the third-floor textile store, wherein they will view exhibits 8 and 9.
A further 70 steps lead from the third floor down to the ground floor mezzanine where exhibit 10 is located. Visitors pass through here, before descending a further 33 steps, to reach basement level. Exiting the building to the courtyard, via a narrow exit that is partially obstructed by scaffolding (81cm wide), visitors reach the final exhibit in the coal bunkers.
The final stage of the tour involves doubling-back to re-enter the building by the above narrow door, climbing to the ground floor via 14 stairs and exit through the building, into the courtyard. The courtyard has two raised curbs, one of which has a ramp and the surface is generally uneven.
Visitors leave the courtyard via a gate onto an asphalt path that wraps around the side of the building, returning to the starting point of the tour.
Finishing the tour
Visitors are able to collect their belongings with the assistance of their guide and exit via the turnstiles which they entered, taking care when making their way across the driveway.
There are no accessible toilets at Blythe House. A non-accessible toilet is available adjacent to the visitors’ meeting room. Toilets are not available en route during the tour.
There are a number of fire escape routes throughout the building, Artangel staff, with support from Blythe House, will be trained to provide assisted escape from the building should it be necessary.
In the event of an emergency, wheelchair users will be evacuated in their wheelchairs.