University of Leicester graduate and astrophotographer asks viewers to rediscover time in new film

Posted by er134 at Jul 21, 2016 11:50 AM |
BBC Sky at Night presenter and University of Leicester alumnus Pete Lawrence involved in film project by Leffe

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 21 July 2016

Images of and taken by Pete Lawrence available to download at:


Watch the full Leffe SLOW TIME film at:


Watch Pete Lawrence’s ‘Capturing Time’ episode at:

BBC’s Sky at Night presenter and University of Leicester alumnus Pete Lawrence gives expert insight on the mysteries of the universe in a new film about time, presented by Leffe®.

The 11-minute documentary, called SLOW TIME, directed by BAFTA-nominated filmmaker Gary Tarn, shows astrophotographer Lawrence working with his telescope capturing ethereal ‘timescape’ images of planets and stars millions of light years away.

He features alongside five other artists and artisans who also use time as a key component of their work, including micro-sculptor Willard Wigan, camera-less photographer Susan Derges, charcuterie producer Adrienne E Treeby, and influential stop-frame animators the Quay Brothers.

Belgian abbey beer Leffe, commissioned the film as a reaction to the always-on culture of the social media generation, in an attempt to encourage people to slow down, savour the moment and rediscover time.

Lawrence, who graduated from the University of Leicester with a degree in Physics with Astrophysics, talks passionately about time as a key component of his work, saying: “You see all those stars and I think you’re aware that you’re in a timescape.

“The light from those objects has to come from such an enormous distance, that you’re not looking at them as they are, but rather as they were. The sun is 8.5 light minutes away, so you are seeing the sun as it was 8.5 minutes ago.”

Some of the stunning images of the Universe captured by Lawrence are overlaid to support his words.

He added: “It is difficult to get your head around the difference between the time that you’re perceiving and the time at the object. It’s when you start to go out into the Universe that you start to appreciate these enormous distances, which induce these vast delays.

“All the stars that you see individually are in our own Milky Way galaxy and the Milky Way is like a gravitationally bound collection of stars.”

Lawrence has been a presenter on the long running BBC Sky at Night television programme since 2005. He has been an astronomical consultant for the popular BBC Stargazing Live television series since it began, and appeared on the programme in 2014 as an aurora expert. Lawrence also writes many of the guides used by the BBC to support the programme. He compiles and writes the monthly Star Guide for the Sky at Night Magazine as well as carrying out equipment reviews on their behalf and acting as their resident imaging expert. He has held this position since the magazine stated in 2005.

Isabelle Maratier, European Marketing Manager at Leffe said: “Our film presents a stunning cinematic window looking at the way time itself can be used to create something beautiful. The artists featured show what can be achieved by slowing down and rediscovering the joy of time. Like Leffe, life is to be savoured so we’re celebrating those that break with life in the fast lane.”

Gary Tarn, BAFTA nominated and SLOW TIME filmmaker, said: “Technology has helped speed up our lives. But perhaps we are at a tipping point, where a reconnection with a slower pace is inevitable. In my own profession, when I am able to shoot on film, I find the results justify the increased waiting time between shooting and seeing the results. For this film I chose to spend time with six people who share this belief; a group for whom the very act of slowing down becomes a starting point to create extraordinary work."

In a partnership with Picturehouse Cinema, SLOW TIME will be shown at Leffe’s Picturehouse Summer Pop-Up Tour this year, opening the programme at each of the outdoor screenings.

The sponsorship deal will see film fans rediscovering time by taking a seat on a specially crafted Leffe deckchair and savouring a glass of Leffe Blonde whilst enjoying the movie. Premium Leffe branded blankets will be on hand to provide a more comfortable experience should British Summertime temperatures plummet.

To watch the Leffe SLOW TIME film, visit the Leffe YouTube channel

To watch Pete Lawrence’s ‘Capturing Time’ episode in Leffe SLOW TIME visit the Leffe YouTube channel

To learn more about Leffe, the brewing heritage visit or Facebook





Notes to Editors


For interviews requests, press information or images, please contact the Leffe Press Office at Shine Communications on


The Picturehouse Summer Tour is a series of outdoor screenings across various locations in the UK on ten consecutive weekends this summer, from 24 June to 11 September. To book tickets, please visit


SLOW TIME Artists and Artisans Featured


Gary Tarn

Gary Tarn is a British filmmaker and composer. His signature style, first seen in his BAFTA-nominated debut feature Black Sun, maps audio interviews to a timed grid, which he uses as the basis for composing his film soundtracks. Coupled with a hand-held, immediate shooting style, on both 16mm film and modern digital cinema cameras, Tarn’s films have an individual look echoing his unique approach to the craft of filmmaking.


Willard Wigan

A British sculptor, who works at a microscopic scale, often working within the eye of a needle, or on the head of a pin. As a child ‘with a learning difference’ he built houses for ants, further motivated by his mother’s advice that ‘the smaller you make it, the bigger you’ll be’. In order to prevent his hand from shaking, and destroying his own work, Wigan works within the beats of his heart, truly Rediscovering Time.

The Quay Brothers

Stephen and Timothy Quay are American-born animators, who have worked in the UK throughout their careers. Known for their stunning stop-frame animation, they are highly-regarded internationally as pioneers in their field. The Quays have produced a short black and white film, demonstrating their technique and the process to achieve it, and their unique understanding of time.


Pete Lawrence

An experienced astronomical observer and highly regarded astrophotographer. In 2014, he was awarded the prestigious Davies Medal by the Royal Photographic Society for significant contributions in the digital field of imaging science. Pete is a Sky at Night presenter and regular contributor to the BBC’s Stargazing Live. Astrophotography requires long careful exposures to capture distant light, sometimes from stars long extinct. So literally Rediscovering Time.


Susan Derges

A British artist and photographer. She works in a number of mediums, but is especially known for making large photographic prints without a camera, exposing raw photographic paper in the landscape. By trying to capture moving elements her work is a representation of time passing. So the work is truly Rediscovering Time, with great attention to the photographic craft.

Adrienne E. Treeby

Adrienne is the chef at Crown & Queue Meats, charcuterie makers. The process of turning raw meat into savoury sausage requires a specially constructed room, so humidity and temperature can be carefully controlled. The raw sausage is hung to cure, and a few weeks later the alchemy of time has transformed it into delicious salami. Adrienne is fascinated by the process and continues to develop new recipes, waiting weeks to discover the results of her curiosity.


About Leffe

Making the extraordinary just perfect, Leffe is the beer that enriches special moments. The flavourful and full bodied character of the Leffe family of beers provides a recipe for life’s best experiences. Made from only the highest quality ingredients, Leffe's unique brewing heritage is now shared and enjoyed by consumers in more than 70 countries worldwide.

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