There is growing recognition in the social sciences that place and its qualities should be thought of as ‘an actor in cultural work’ (Luckman). However, getting mainstream academic thought, urban renewal consultants or cultural planners to take the qualities of place seriously has proven more difficult. This article outlines an emerging view within landscape theory that rather than seeing landscape as some inert or fixed object, sees it as a dynamic process or mode of ‘dwelling’ (Tim Ingold). Drawing on the case of the Blue Mountains region in NSW, the second part of the article attempts to flesh out what the nonrepresentational sensibility might mean for rethinking creativity, economy and place; and why such a perspective might be all the more important, in the case of landscapes where there is a history of relying on tourism and the ‘visual gaze’.
Keywords: creativity and place – landscape theory – the Blue Mountains – ‘nonrepresentational’ practices