Poynton was born in 1970 in Durban and lives in Cape Town.
She has held 12 solo exhibitions at Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg, since 2004. Her first US solo exhibitions took place at the Savannah College of Art and Design’s galleries in Savannah and Atlanta in 2009. A survey of 25 years of her painting, titled Model for a World, showed at the New Church Museum, Cape Town, in 2014. Institutional shows have also taken place at the KZNSA in Durban (2010) and the Institute of Contemporary Art Indian Ocean in Port Louis, Mauritius (2018). A survey of the last decade’s work, Beyond Belief, took place at the Drents Museum in Assen, the Netherlands.
Notable group exhibitions include I have made a place, Norval Foundation, Cape Town (2021); Tamawuj, 13th Sharjah Biennial (2017); Home Truths: Domestic Interiors from South African Collections, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town (2016); I Love You Sugar Kane, Institute of Contemporary Art Indian Ocean, Mauritius (2016); Eros and Thanatos, SOR Rusche Collection, Oelde/Berlin (2012); Von Liebeslust und Lebenslast - der inszenierte Alltagat, Corvey Castle, Germany (2009); and What lies beneath, Galerie Mikael Andersen, Copenhagen (2006).
Three monographs have been published on her paintings: Everything Matters (SCAD/Stevenson, 2009), Pictures (Stevenson, 2013) and Beyond Belief (W Books/Drents Museum, 2021).