An important theme running through Simon Back's work has been the exploration of sacrifice; a concept incorporated and explored as both imagery, and as a working process. Key elements or images which start to become essential or pivotal to a work, may need to be removed. In this vulnerable state, when the whole direction of a painting suddenly changes direction, one is forced to examine what is left, to build on what remains and discover the value of every remaining piece of space. It is an act of building out of ruins, layer upon layer, like an archeological tell. It can be a long process, building up to what may only be the back drop to an action which takes place very quickly, signalling the final resolution; or just another happening which leaves it’s mark on the course of the painting. The painting is in fact never finished.