Powell was born in Kenya. She studied Fine Art of the Durban College of Art (now the Durban Institute of Technology), and for a three-year Diploma at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College, London and for a one year’s post Diploma in two dimensional and applied design at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London (now the Central School, St. Martin’s).
In 1989 she was awarded a Higher Diploma in Textile Design, Technikon Natal (now D.I.T.).
She has taught art in High Schools in Kenya and in South Africa and at the University of Durban-Westville, the Architectural Department, UN(D) and at the Technikon Natal. She has given workshops on art in Mozambique and in KZN.
From 1972 she worked in vitreous enamel and in stained glass and acid Engraved glass on doors, gates, screens and on murals, mainly as commissions from architects.
In 1987 and 1995 Powell exhibited her enamel work on international exhibitions held in Coburg Germany. She received an award on the 1971 Art - South Africa - Today exhibition held at the Durban Art Gallery.