In 2012, when the prestigious Polaris Music Prize asked Jud Haynes to design its poster, the Newfoundland artist didn’t want to stray from the organization’s screen printed aesthetic. Yet, he was faced with one small hurdle: he didn’t know how to screen print.
This small obstacle birthed the company Rehearsals Rehearsals, founded by Haynes and former business partner Mark Bennett, on Water Street in downtown St. John’s, N.L. Borrowing its name from The Clash’s former rehearsal studio, the space served as a nucleus for the two to learn the art form.
Buying anything niche can be tough in Newfoundland, so the duo sourced most of their materials online, including screen printing ink. They built a vacuum table, a flat surface dotted with perforations attached to a vacuum pump, which secures the print in place.
“I had to figure out how to draw in a style that would translate to screen printing,” says Haynes. Screen printing is time consuming. Each screen features only parts of the image that are the same colour. Haynes uses a squeegee to push paint through a screen, waits for the piece to dry, and then applies the next screen and colour.
“I’ve done some [prints] that have taken 16 hours to print because of the wait time for drying, so you’re down at your studio for a 16-hour day to print one run of a certain print,” says Haynes.
Long days and tedious wait times don’t stifle Haynes’ drive or creativity. “As soon as we started, I totally fell in love with the process,” he says. “I love the whole style, aesthetic and craft that’s needed to make them by hand, one at a time.”
After Bennett relocated to Toronto, Haynes’ partner Krista Power took his place, and the couple produced high-quality prints for home décor and concert posters for Blue Rodeo and the Arkells.
One of the benefits of Rehearsals Rehearsals’ downtown location is easy access to a retail space through Twisted Sisters Boutik, a shop below the studio specializing in clothing, footwear, and artwork.
“I saw it, like a lot of people saw it, in a local restaurant,” says Jaclyn Gruchy, co-owner of Twisted Sisters, of the neighbour map print. “I think people are drawn to it because it is very symbolic of Newfoundland. People appreciate that it’s more artistic than your typical Newfoundland art.”
See more of Rehearsals Rehearsals work and order online.