Around 1990, handmade outdoor folk art ceased to be produced in any quantity and, at the same time, home-owners stopped displaying it. In the words of one canny gallery owner, who suddenly had no more folk art to sell, "No one is naïve any more."
And yet the urge to decorate outdoor spaces did not diminish - on the contrary, it increased. It was a case of commercially made "faux" folk art replacing original folk art. Gardeners bought silhouettes, plastic replica whirligigs and nylon banners to take the place of pieces they had removed. "Jigsaw sculptors," often using kits including woodworking plans, created and sold a new variety of garden objects. Interestingly, these too retained the saucy sense of humour so evident in the age of genuine outdoor folk art.
Finally, decorations celebrating birthdays and holidays such as Christmas and Hallowe'en, among others, began to predominate in rural, village and suburban yards over more accepted forms of folk art. Leaving tradition behind them, the folk are always one step ahead.
The flamingo has landed.