Here’s the Inspiration Behind Laura Decorum’s Black History Month LeftLion Cover

Words: Laura Decorum
Wednesday 04 October 2023
reading time: min, words

Laura Decorum designed the beautiful cover for Issue #164 of LeftLion. Here's what she had to say about it...

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With regards to previous projects in the past year, I have worked on Bridlesmith Gate in Nottingham city centre, producing a three storey mural of a robotic lady, and have not long had an exhibition upstairs in the New Art Exchange with two other black female local artists. Kim Thompson and Paula De Pontes, amongst many other projects like painting buses and live murals for Green Hustle and lots and lots of other things.

I don't like to talk too much about my upcoming projects if I'm honest. But I will let you have this; I'm involved in a project currently in Bink's Yard, and you'll find me painting live at Hockley Hustle so come and say hello. But that's all I'm prepared to say. I like the air of mystery.

I can't think of anything else to tell you, other than you're a lovely bunch in Nottingham and that I hope you're all as kind to yourselves as you are to each other as we embark on these darker winter months. And also I hope you like my cover for the LeftLion.


Hi there, my name is Laura Decorum and I guess I'm a lowbrow surrealist painter, muralist, workshop facilitator, illustrator and face-painter, living and working in Nottingham as well as surrounding cities.

The inspiration for this cover was actually the Bob Marley lyrics to Redemption Song: “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds” and a very old photograph I found of a matriarch of my family. 

Oh, good grief! What a relaxing project this was! This was a joy to paint to be honest and a nice change to work on a smaller scale which I hadn't done for a short while. The biggest challenge was in choosing who or what to depict for this cover as this could have gone a lot of ways. Rather, I chose to paint a woman I admire who doesn't ever let life get her down that I am privileged enough to call my grandmother.

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