Hunt on for Twizel twins

Lisa Webster is trying to find the twins who are in these portraits from Twizel in 1980.
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Lisa Webster is trying to find the twins who are in these portraits from Twizel in 1980.

The hunt is on to find the Twizel twins - the subjects of two portraits before artist Maree Pompey tragically died.

Pompey's daughter, Lisa Webster, lived in the Mackenzie Country town of Twizel, between 1976 and 1985.

In 1980 Pompey was painting portraits of twins but died before she finished them. Lisa's dad only recently discovered the portraits and asked her to put them on Facebook to reunite them with the subjects.

After Twizel her family moved to Cromwell as her father, Bill Pompey, worked on the hydro developments.

"Dad is still in Cromwell. I have been in Wellington for 20 plus years. I went and saw Dad last weekend and he gave me the portraits. He didn't have any more details," Webster said.

"I put a picture on the Twizel page on Facebook and so many people have commented. My mum passed away suddenly in 1980. She took her own life. Twizel was really isolated back then and that was part of the reason she didn't make it. We could not get her to help quick enough.

"Mum painted from photographs and did quite a few paintings. People would bring her a photo and she would have the easel set up in the spare room."

Webster thought the paintings being of twins may make them easier to find.

"Just one baby may have been hard, but twins are pretty rare," she said.

"There are two paintings. Mum must not have been happy with the first one, so they can paper, scissors, rocks to see who gets which painting. They are not finished, sadly, as she passed away before they were.

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"All we know is that they [the twins] lived in Twizel in 1980 and they would be about 35 now, as I think they would be about one in the picture.

"I'd love to be able to give them back."

The primary school teacher remembers Twizel's cold winters and snowball fights between the primary school and the high school.

"It was quite bizarre, A town that just popped up out of nowhere. It was really isolated back then. I remember the freezing winters and walking to school and my hair freezing.

"In the summer we lived in the water, be it the river or down at the pool. There were five of us kids.

"It would be home for tea then out to play. The town was small enough that everyone looked out for each other."

If you have any information that may lead to reuniting the portraits with the rightful owners please email: emma.bailey@fairfaxmedia.co.nz.

 - The Timaru Herald

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