RAINBOWS fill the home of film-maker Simon Sly – pictures, models and ornaments that pop with vibrant colour and give the living and working space of this Swindon creative an energetic atmosphere.
On the walls, he has portraits of inspirational human beings, from non-violent revolutionary Mahatma Gandhi to film director Christopher Nolan, along with uplifting quotations – and all around the house, collections of gloriously colourful Lego.
It is evident Simon, 39, has a powerful impulse to explore and engage with life despite the fact he was diagnosed first with ME and later with multiple sclerosis.
The condition has robbed him of his teaching career, his physical energy, his manual dexterity and even made speaking a challenge – but it has not taken his imagination, ambition or creativity.
“It feels so worthwhile to create something and to have people enjoying what you have made,” Simon says, as he recalls the first screening of his film, The 12 Wonders of the Short Film World, for around 60 selected guests at a Swindon multiplex in the summer.
“The main purpose of the screening was so people could see the films I made. It was really great – I had worked so hard on making the short film compilation, so to see the end result on the big cinema screen was amazing, and it was great to share it with other people and to have them enjoy it.”
North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson attended the screening, and Simon says he received lots of positive feedback.