The New Ashgate Gallery in Farnham has announced the donation of several woodcut prints and woodblocks by the late John Bryce, a distinguished Surrey artist, to various NHS sites.

These artworks, valued at just under £40,000, will enhance the environments of hospitals and care facilities, providing comfort and inspiration to patients, visitors and staff. Additionally the woodblocks will be used for the education of future generations of artists, now looked after by the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers.

John Bryce was renowned for his beautiful watercolours and exquisite wood carvings. A fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, his works were exhibited widely, including at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London galleries, and at the New Ashgate Gallery.

When he died in 2022 his family donated his remaining works, allowing his artistic legacy to provide an uplift at healthcare settings and inspire new artists.

The donated artworks have been highly sought after by multiple NHS hospitals and healthcare settings for their permanent collections and public display.

The organisations which received donated works include Frimley Health Trust, for Frimley Park Hospital; Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital; University College Hospital London; Kingston Hospital; Downing Street Practice, Farnham; Abbeyfield Wey Valley Society; the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers; Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust; and St Mary’s Battersea, which features in John Bryce's artworks.

New Ashgate Gallery director Dr Outi Remes said: "John Bryce's legacy continues to touch lives through these donations. We are honoured to facilitate the distribution of his works to NHS sites, enriching the environments where they are displayed and providing solace and joy to patients, staff and visitors."

Dr Steve Summers, staff wellbeing practitioner at Kingston Hospital, added: "John Bryce’s prints provide a wonderful enhancement to the Kingston Hospital site, and are greatly appreciated. They will benefit both the patient experience, and the working life of staff, into the future."

A gift of John Bryce’s works to the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers was accepted with “joyous delight” by its president, Professor David Dawson Ferry, and honorary curator Edward Twohig.

Mr Twohig said: "This donation comprises a selection of signed wood engravings arching John’s career, together with 48 woodblocks which are each little gems of pastoral beauty brought to life by intrinsic and innate high skill."

Bryce had a long-standing relationship with the society. He first gave wood engraving demonstrations to the public at the Bankside Gallery in 1982 and was elected a senior fellow of the society by its council in 2010.

This enchanting work now forms part of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers' growing historical archive, currently housed and lovingly looked after at the Art School at Marlborough College in Wiltshire, where these blocks will be put to educational use across the next academic year.

Art in a hospital setting must engage a diverse audience and provide a moment of reflection and calm. It must capture the attention of individuals receiving news, whether good or bad, and offer a distraction to those waiting for treatment or accompanying loved ones. Additionally it serves as a source of comfort and inspiration for NHS staff working in demanding environments.

With a limited budget for acquiring art, the donation of these high-quality prints from the estate of John Bryce, facilitated by the New Ashgate Gallery, has significantly enriched the artistic offerings at these hospitals.