Title: Phantom Things
Size: 49cm x 98cm
Medium: Etching & Watercolour, Edition of 6

Additional Information
I personally feel rather haunted by things. There’s a tradition in Japan, that when an item reaches a hundred years it grows a soul. These spirited things are called tsukumogami - they're the ghostly objects running wild in Hokusai prints, that lantern with eyes, those dancing hammers. So people used to destroy household objects before they became old, before they became alive. Really, I’m surprised by the idea that it takes as long as a century for a thing to develop life - surely, it takes only a couple of minutes, seconds even, for a soul to spring up. I get very emotionally attached to things, they very quickly become alive. Like old bus tickets, postcards, receipts, loved one’s teeth, and so on… all have a halo of emotional resonance around them. They stack up. And soon I have a house-load of objects that embody memories, that haunt me. To discard one thing would mean to discard a moment of the past. It also means I have a big mess. Robert Powell

Price: £800

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About the Artist

Robert Powell graduated with an MA in Fine Art from Edinburgh College of Art in 2008, and then an MFA in Art, Space and Nature in 2011 at the same institution.

Since then he has exhibited at many places in Scotland and abroad, prizes include the John Watson Prize in 2008, the Benno Schotz RSA prize in 2011 and the Deloitte SSA Prize in 2013. Recent work includes A Universal History of Iniquity, which was a history of the world in 16 etchings and the cosmological doll houses, High Rise and Species of Space: The Incredible Visible City. Currently, he is working on Saints in Spandex, a litany of dead-superheroes, a lament and a prayer.



2009 – 2011; Edinburgh College of Art: Art Space and Nature MFA (distinction)

2003 – 2008; Edinburgh University and Edinburgh College of Art; MA Fine Art in Painting (2/1)


SSA Deloitte Award 2015

Winner of SSA Engramme exchange 2013

Shortlisted for Bristol’s Playable Cities

Winner of the RSA Benno Schotz Award; 2011

Nominated for the ECA Chairman’s Medal 2011

Winner of the John Watson Award 2008

Joint-winner of RMJM Architecture Award 2006

Andrew Grant Award 2007


Paradigm North, Timespan, Helmsdale, Scotland, April-June 2015

Yamaguchi Society for Contemporary Art Residency, Kimachi House, Yamaguchi, Japan, October – November 2013

Akiyoshidai International Art Village, Akiyoshidai, Japan, September-October 2013

Madness in Revolt, Edinburgh University, April 2011

Anti-Tales: The Uses of Disenchantment, Glasgow University, June 2010

Edinburgh Academy, 2008-2009

Solo Exhibitions

The Species of Space, April - July 2016, Edinburgh Printmakers, Edinburgh

The Palace of Forgetting, August 2014, Kaname Art Spot Korin, Kyoto, Japan

The Palace of Forgetting, May 2014, The Warburton Gallery, Edinburgh
Histoire Universelle de l'Infamie, March 2014, Engramme Print Gallery, Quebec, Canada

The Thinking Machine, October 2013, Akiyoshidai International Art Village, Akiyoshidai, Japan

Mapping The Burning Lands: April 2012, Aichi Prefecture University of Fine Art and Music, Nagoya, Japan

The Bone Library: August 2011, Summerhall, Edinburgh

Histories of the Perplexed: April 2011, Stag Studios, Edinburgh

Macpherson’s Cave: Shadow and Enlightenment: August-September 2010, The Henderson Gallery, Edinburgh

The Modern Agoge: The Edinburgh Academy, June 2009

John Watson Prize 2008: Robert Powell: November 2008–February 2009, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh

Lectures on the Shadow: September 2008, The Henderson Gallery, Edinburgh


More Than Bird: August 2012, Tent Gallery, Edinburgh