The son and grandson of architects, Cyril Power was born in London where he was educated and received his training in his father’s architectural practice. He received recognition of his abilities early in his career, and was awarded the Soane medallion from the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1900. He was elected an associate of the member of the institute two years later and, in 1904, he married Dorothy Mary Nunn, with whom he had four children. Employed by the Ministry of Works, he worked on the design and construction of the General Post Office, King Edward VII Building in London the following year. Soon afterwards he became a part-time lecturer in architectural design and history at University College, London and at Goldsmiths’ College, leading to the publication of his A History of English Mediaeval Architecture in 1912, which featured many of his own pen and ink illustrations. He was commissioned into the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War and upon demobilization, he moved with his family to the town of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk and resumed his architectural practice.
In 1922 Power left his family for the art student, Sybil Andrews and moved with her to London where they both enrolled in Heatherly’s School of Fine Art. In 1925 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and assisted the principal of Heatherly’s, Iain Mcnab, establish the Grosvenor School of Modern Art in Warwick Square, London, where he lectured on principles of perspectives and architectural history. Claude Flight joined the school the following year where he taught the art of linocutting. Both Power and Andrews were students in his linocut class and they participated in his First Exhibition of British Lino-Cuts at the Redfern Gallery in 1929. Following this, they shared a studio and regularly exhibited their linocuts at exhibitions throughout the 1930s, under the pseudonym Andrew Power, and they were jointly commissioned to design chromolithographic posters for the London Passenger Transport Board. In 1938, the pair separated and Andrews moved to a cottage in the New Forest whilst Power, aged sixty-six, returned to his family in Surrey. He remained with the family for the next thirteen years of his life and, although he stopped making linocuts, he lectured for the local art society and continued painting, mainly oil landscapes, until his death. Although Power was romantic about the medieval past, he nonetheless embraced the modernist principle of Futurism in his linocuts. Many of his linocuts, and those he worked on with Andrews, therefore express a dynamic speed and movement.