‘My embroideries,’ says artist Malcolm Poynter, ‘Are going where no embroideries have gone before… They are rough, tough and full of spunk!’
Viewers will be able to judge this rather unusual claim for themselves at the wonderfully-named Puns and Needles exhibition, which runs at the Coningsby Gallery in London this month and will feature paintings, drawings, 3D constructions and, of course, embroideries by Poynter.
A college contemporary of Gilbert and George, Poynter uses a kitsch, Pop Art style rooted in his heritage in the British underground comic scene, where he drew characters for Oz and IT (his eclectic career has also taken in illustrating for Radio Times, Time Out and others and working on broadcast graphics for ITN) .
For his upcoming show, Poynter uses overtly comic book-style images, often verging on the grotesque, with some – such as ‘I can see that poor art didn’t stand a chance’ seemingly offering direct commentry. Others, such as a cowboy about to draw his revover and uttering the phrase ‘because I’m worth it’ are slightly more oblique.
And the medium, as well as the content, is key to Poynter, who says he believes embroidery should be considered as a fine art rather than a craft.
‘Cushions are kids stuff,’ says Poynter. His work certainly isn’t.
Puns and Needles is at the Coningsby Gallery, London W1T, from 18-30 July.