Endless Reproduction


Endless Reproduction was launched during World Childless Week 2022 and featured in The Guardian – Trying to conceive, a photographic journey in pictures.

The book is available to buy at the link below and at The Photographers’ Gallery, London.

The photographs were made during the years I was unsuccessfully trying to get pregnant. When I looked back into the hundreds of images, I realised there was an unexpected layer of synchronicity with the images I was making and my lived experience. The images echo a hopeful beginning to a journey, take in medical interventions and track a belief that eventually fades. We start in nature, shift through domestic interiors, and come to rest in a no-man’s land of studio and darkroom interiors.

The photographs in the book were taken with automatic camera triggers that fire the shutter in response to changes in movement, sound or light; giving control over to the equipment and the subject. In Endless Reproduction birds document the human nest, apples photograph themselves falling up trees and balls hang in clusters in front of our vision while futile and wrong-headed experiments flash intermittently in the dark.

And you feel in the dark, separate, away from the world. My experience is that the grief is always with you, like a shadow of something that was never there, falling across your page.

Excerpt from Chapter One: ‘I set up the infra-red beam, link the boxes to the camera and place seed on the perch. Birds land, they break the beam and photograph the inside of the room. I’m in there, with my camera, and photograph them as they unknowingly photograph me…Thin curtains are caught blowing in a breeze, sunlight seeps through. A mirror in the room reflects the window and curtain; outside, pine trees are seen and through the gaps in the branches, blue sky. I leave the room and the birds continue to photograph. The images without me are better, I look tired and fragile. The idea that people have been in the bed is better than how the reality looks in a photograph.’

Excerpt from Chapter Three: ‘In these images I was making, in homes, in the kitchen, in living rooms and bedrooms, I eventually saw something that made sense: the shadow. The detail of an object is lost as the flash blasts out the scene, but the shadow of a falling ball gives depth to the image, revealing the creases in the sheet, the folds and curves that delineate the valleys of grey.’

With grateful thanks to Cameron Leadbetter of Shining Studio for the beautiful design and Nick Cooney of Studio Cooney for brilliant work preparing the images for print and to all the wonderful supporters of the Kickstarter campaign!

A copy of the book incl. postage and packing in the UK is £34. Please order through below link. Please contact me at info@melaniestidolph.com for overseas postings or if any queries.

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