Iconographer brings unique talent to Columbia church

By Stephen Hooker - email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Everyone knows what a painter does, but what about an iconographer? A unique talent from Greece is in the Midlands to take on a special project.

"It's really hard, but great," said iconographer George Kordis.

Perched on scaffolding, suspended at least 60 feet under the dome of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church on Main Street, Kordis paints an image of Christ on the ceiling. "I always appreciated George's talent and his theological perspective," said Father Michael Platamis.

An iconographer is an artist of religious images, and George feels his work from his heart to his soul. "It's not possible to approach and to render the face of Christ and his divine substance if you don't be a believer," said Kordis.

George studied both theology and art while in Boston. He now travels with his team, painting the walls and ceilings of churches throughout the world. "We draw directly on the wall using charcoal, and we make the drawing," he described. "This is the first step, and it's very, very important."

Sometimes he lies on his back, Michelangelo-style. But when looking up, neck pain comes quickly -- and builds over the hours. "It's really difficult because you have to paint -- not just your experience, but you have to render God's light and his face," said Kordis. "Otherwise, you're not trying just to render an abstract idea, but love for God."

George and his artisans will work into mid-August, and then it's off to Russia. But before he leaves, we'll visit his work again and see where theology and art come together on the ceiling of a dome. "It's challenging, it's hard, but it's very nice, a great experience," said Kordis.

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