Richard Williams

"George Burt, when cultivating Durlston into the country park it would become, chose to keep the land and its beauty in a natural condition. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he chose not to tear the earth apart and rend it into one uniform lawn, but instead endeavoured to preserve its unique, sublime beauty.  

George fell in love with how the trees grew in ancient groves, and the open hills exposed to the wind, he saw equal beauty in the dramatic white cliffs plummeting into the rough sea and the delicate petals of wildflowers.  

His decision was to establish paths through the area with minimal intrusion to the natural landscape, instead allowing access into these beautiful vistas rather than destroying them.  

Those paths are still maintained to this day, and improved upon, new paths with the same ideology are built to allow visitors to wander through the same places that caused George such joy.  

To this end, George had commissioned stones with phrases from various poems, all to the end of highlighting the beauty of the area.  

‘Look and Admire’ is on one such stone.  

I made this video piece to commemorate the history and the cultures that have existed in Durlston and the surrounding area, Purbeck has been inhabited since humans first settled in Britain, and has always had activity here, George Burt knew this and wished to celebrate that history in his park.  

My piece depicts a Victorian visitor, enjoying the cultivated nature on a summer’s day, a voice over reads a vague poem inspired by this rich history while the gentleman looks around. 

Beneath a cherry tree and in front of a hedge, his black suit contrasts from his lush surroundings, but across his shoulder a green sash, it denotes authority of a sort, but links aesthetically to his verdant surroundings. 


The poem alludes to ‘a local boy’. The man’s sash denotes an unknown importance. These small matters are beside the point, left intentionally hidden. Countless visitors have taken in the natural splendour of Durlston, and countless more will do so, and they are all bound by one thing, the humble, beautiful poetry that George Burt knew, to look and admire."

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