Jitka Hanzlová was born in Náchod, Czech Republic. In 1982 Hanzlová defected from the Communist regime in her Czechoslovakia and settled in Essen in West Germany where she studied photography from 1987-1994. Since then she has sought to explore her experiences through photography, producing a body of work at once poetic and truthful. Hanzlová’s photography is in constant pursuit of the relationship between the individual and the context in which he or she lives. It scrutinizes the ways in which home and surroundings indelibly shape identity. She has exhibited across Europe, and the first retrospective of her work was held at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in 2012-13.