Melita Denaro was born in Burt, Co. Donegal in 1950. She studied Ceramics at the Central School of Art in London from 1975 to 1978, and in 1992 she completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Painting at the Royal Academy School.
Denaro lives between Donegal and London, and it is the rugged landscape of the Inishowen peninsula, with its expressive skies, scatterings of livestock and craggy shoreline, that informs her work.
Melita Denaro relentlessly paints the same tracts of Donegal headland over and over again, a process that results in an incredibly intimate and personal sense of place that is paralleled in the detailed descriptions that she uses to title her paintings. These often refer to the network of relationships that surround the friends, family and neighbours who do not feature in Denaro's work, reminding the viewer that although her work may appear to be about the landscape, it is also about the human emotions and narratives that we impose upon it.
Melita Denaro was awarded The Armitage Prize and The David Murray Travelling Scholarship in 1994, and The Creswick Prize and the Royal Academy Silver Medal in 1995. She has exhibited frequently in solo and group shows at John Martin, London, as well as the Glebe Gallery, Donegal, the Solomon Gallery, Dublin, Royal Hibernian Academy Annual Exhibitions and Royal Academy Summer Shows. She has shown with Taylor Galleries since the early 2000s. Denaro's work is represented in the public collections of the Irish State, Donegal County Council, AIB, Guinness, and Hambros Bank in London, as well as the private collections of Oprah Winfrey and H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, amongst others.