François Aurat

Deck officer aboard the schooner Tara for many years, François is equally comfortable sailing, photographing or practicing the art of gyotaku (a traditional Japanese method of printing fish, which dates back to the mid-1800s) — passions he nourishes through his travels.

A sailor and artist

François Aurat : artiste en résidence sur tara

A photographer since the age of 14, with my Russian manual camera Zenit B, I was already dreaming of travel and nature. A sailor aboard Tara for the past 13 years, I couldn’t have hoped for a better opportunity to develop this passion. Every moment deserves a picture, each photo deserves hours of discussions, sharing and memories. I love this magic, being able to travel and share my work with those who don’t have this chance. The advent of drones allows me to express myself with height.

François Aurat

My best experience on board Tara remains the 6-month circumnavigation of the Arctic Ocean (Tara Polar Circle) and the crossing of the Northwest and Northeast Passages with indescribable landscapes and a spectacular team.”

François Aurat, deck officer aboard the schooner, fuels his passion for photography along Tara’s course across the ocean. His photographs reflect his journey. François also draws his inspiration from artistic activities he discovers and the people he meets during the schooner’s stopovers. As a result, he also practices a Japanese plastic art: gyotaku.

“C’est un art ancestral japonais qui consiste à faire l’empreinte d’un poisson. It’s an ancient Japanese art that consists of printing a fish. Out of pride, fishermen used this technique before photography appeared to show their best catches. Our successive trips to Japan allowed me to discover this technique that I have now adopted.

Portrait of François Aurat

A sailor and artist

Discover some of his works inspired by the living conditions aboard Tara:

Œuvre de François Aurat : Photo du reflet dans l'eau en Patagonie 2021
Tara Polar Circle (2013) © François Aurat // Fujifilm
Œuvre de François Aurat : Photo d'un point d'interrogation dans la banquise 2021
Northwest Passage, Tara Polar Circle mission (2013) © François Aurat // Fujifilm
Gyotaku of an Amazonian fish (2021) © François Aurat // Fujifilm
Œuvre de François Aurat : Gyotaku, poisson amazonien (2021)
François Aurat’s work: Gyotaku of an Amazonian fish (2021) Gyotaku of an Amazonian fish (2021) © François Aurat // Fujifilm

Upcoming exhibition: “Œil pour œil” (an eye for an eye), May 9 to June 18, 2022 at the French Institute in Tel Aviv (Israel). 

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